tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN May 12, 2010 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT
money in the corporation. this is what they do every day. executives prefer not to do that. they prefer like a.i.g. to go over there and meet with the federal reserve or neat with the secretary of treasury and they sit down and wheel and deal and get $100 billion. and nobody is under oath that i can see, nobody -- none of this is done in porks as is done in a bankruptcy proceeding. and they get to continue to operate, and their fat salaries, when any other company would ub out of there and would cease to exist. this is the problem that upsets the american people and they're right. we do not need to provide special treatment for the people who created the financial crisis that has damaged this country for the next decade probably and set off ramifications worldwide.
i know a lot of this was systemic irresponsibility by a lot of people. but i have to say the failure of these executives to manage their companies correctly, there's letters to this and they do not need to be provided a sweetheart process by which they can get money from the treasury and keep their companies going and not be subjected to the same examination, the same requirement to produce documents and records to justify their existence that average corporations do. i believe america would be better if we do that. i believe our economy will be stronger and that there'll be more certainty in the process. if you fail, you fail. if you loan money to a company that fails, you may lose some or all of it. that's just the way it is. and it happens every day. some people on wall street convinced themselves and they convince politicians and
government officials that they were too big to fail. they -- they -- they were so larges and were so important that they couldn't be treated like anybody else. they needed to be bailed out. and the people who were regulating them and the treasury of secretary, a wall street may haven thim self, a goldman sachs guy and others, they met over there in secret and plotted this thing out. and got us to pass legislation in congress that said that -- well, my wife corrects me. she says "quit saying 'got us' when you voted against it. i voted against the bill. but the congress passed legislation to allow the secretary of treasury to buy toxic mortgages and assets from bad banks that were in trouble. in a state of panic, if you want to note truth. -- if you want to know the truth. and what did they do? 10 disas later they bought an
insurance -- 10 days later they bought an insurance company, a.i.g., put $100 billion into t totally contrary to what we were told just a few days before and without the slightest hint of impairs asment. and the legislation that we passed, $700 billion tarp bailout, was the greatest abdication of congressional responsibility in the history of this republic. we've never given one man, the secretary of treasury, the power to deal with his friends and have $700 billion to deal with it. it is an outrage, really. that's why people are upset. and they have a right to be upset. and i'll upset. he ... so, mr. president, all i'm saying is, we have a regular process for dissolution of companies that get in trouble. if they can't pay the their bills, they ought to fail like
any other company, and the big guys on wall street shouldn't be given special treatment. this legislation will end bailouts and will put them in the same process that any corporation in america would be in if they failed to pay their debts in a responsible manner. i urge my colleagues to consider the amendment, to remember that it is a -- bankruptcy in is favored process by federal reserve people, that the supreme court is -- the judicial conference of the united states federal courts has raised questions about this legislation, as it presently existed. i think the principled and appropriate way to deal with the dissolution of failed companies is through the bankruptcy process and urge my colleagues to support the amendment. i would yield the floor. mr. dodd: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut.
mr. dodd: mr. president, at some point fairly soon, i hope to be able to, at the request of the authors of the amendment, propose two attempts that i hope can be accepted -- in fact i know will be accepted on a voice vote. some language is being worked on. that will come before we adjourn this evening. then we have also laid down, i believe, nine amendments tomorrow both -- i think equally divided between the majority and the minority, including the amendment just -- you just heard proposed by my good friend from alabama, senator sessions. along with others. so it'll be a busy day tomorrow. we've done today -- i hope we've done eight amendments by the time we're done, which is a good day's work. obviously, more needs to be done. but six of those, i think -- or five of them were done by recorded votes and three by voice votes. we hope they'll be by voice
votes. i want to take a minute or so, if i can -- a couple of minutes to express my feelings about the sessions amendment. first of all, i'm joined in these sentiments by the chairman of the judiciary committee, senator leahy, who opposes the sessions amendment as well. and let me explain why i oppose this amendment and again i say this respectfully of senator sessions, who is a good friend, in his point of view -- i noticed in his remarks he had not cited a number of bankruptcy lawyers opposed to the provisions of the bill. i am not terribly shocked that bankruptcy lawyers would be opposed to the provision in the bill short of bankruptcy in titles 1 and 2 of the bill. senator shelby and i -- in fact it was the shelby-dodd amendment which we voted on -- i think it was a week ago -- i'm not sure when it was, several days ago that took care of the concerns that people had about title 1 and title 2 of the bill which
deal with the resolution mechanisms in the bill. senators corker and warner worked very hard on those two provisions of the bill, as other members of the committee did. and i want to briefly describe why those provisions are important and why they should remain intact and of course we voted as a senate 93-5 in favor of the shelby-dodd amendment codifying the perfections, as senator shelby described them, in those two titled. well, mr. president, i oppose the sessions amendment to strike the amendment creating an orderl liquidation authority, language that i said senator shelby and i crafted together in order to end the too-big-to-fail argument once and for all. most nonbank financial firms, including large and complex ones, will go through the normal bankruptcy process if they fail. and they should. that's the presumption in this
bill. the new liquidation authority that senator shelby and i crafted should be used very, very rarely. it is a painful process to go through. it would certainly not be the avenue of choice given the implications. we have put in some very high hurdles to trigger its use, including judicial review before the liquidation authority could even be triggered. moreover, the advance warning systems that we have included in our bill and the tough, new standards we impose on large financial companies will put in place speed bumps so that these companies slow down and become less riskically and, therefore, avoid the very issue of bankruptcy or resolution, so it's early on you try and inmice those events from owe cumpleght when there is a crisis, bankruptcy not be the best option. the experience of 2008, especially the bankruptcy of lehman brothers and its as does strus trect d. -- disastrous effects on our markets, has
taught us that we need a workable alternative to bankruptcy for the largest, most interconnected financial firms and that the alternative could not and should not be a bailout. so given the choices now, it is bankruptcy or bailout. we tried to create an alternative under rare circumstances for our resolution mechanism. throughout 2009, the banking committee heard testimony from the administration and other financial regulators, experts, stakeholders and others who all agreed that the bankruptcy framework is poorly equipped to protect the nation's financial stability of the very large and complex and interconnected financial firm goes under. why do we say that? it can be with a large financial firm that's interconnected that there are many good, solid firms -- it may be that a large interconnected firm will have an effect on some very solvent,
well-run firms. bankruptcy could bring all of these well-run companies down to their knees. none of us want to be a part of that. so we need an alternative other than just bailing out that firm when confronted with that kind of a choice. so your only two choices are bankruptcy, which could take a lot of firms and businesses that are solid, well-run, well-managed, producing jobs, contributing to our economy -- that's the alternative. those firms then would be a adversely and unfortunately affected through a bankruptcy process. or bailout. which no one wants to whit writa check for $700 billion again. society idesociety idea of an ae choice -- so the idea of arn alternative choice which we as democrats and republicans felt was the alternative in our bill. the sessions amendment fails to recognize the fundamental difference between the new liquidation authority and bankruptcy. the new liquidation authority is
intended to be an emergency exception to bankruptcy. the promtion again -- the presumption again, mr. president, is bankruptcy. that's where we begin. if under these rare circumstances that alternative would do damage to the overall economy despite our feelings toward a company, we need to have an alternative. the new liquidation authority a intended, as i said, to be an emergency exception to bankruptcy when necessary to protect the financial stability, overall stability, of the u.s. and not to protect irresponsible creditors. the sessions amendment, like today's bankruptcy framework, is focused on protecting and repaying creditors of a failed financial firm. it does not provide the tools we need to protect taxpayers from the devastating effects of the next lehman brothers. that is why senator shelby and i sought to create liquidation process that would provide for the orderly winddown of large, complex financial institutions while still forcing shareholders
to be wiped out, capabl culpable management to be fired noition a very prohibition against the managers who caused the failure for being involved for years afterwards in the financial sectorsecof our economy. shareholders get wiped out, creditors suffer, management gets fired, and you're banned from being involved in financial services. that's tough medicine. if in fact you go the resolution route. but we need to have at least some mechanism other than just the two terrible alternatives of bankruptcy that could cause broader financial problems or a bailout. that's why senator shelby and i sought to create this liquidation process. any payments under our bill to creditors above liquidation value will be claude back. large financial companies will be assessed as necessary to ensure that taxpayers don't lose a penny. you may recall, president, the
debate we had about prepayment or post payment debate. we had originally at the suggestion of my republican colleagues a $50 billion up-front assessment on large institutions. then there was a change of heart by many and said, no, you can't have that out there because that looks like you've already sort of provided for a resolution mechanism rather than bankruptcy. particulars of that don't look good -- the optics of that don't look good. the only reason i included it in the further draft of the bill is because i thought it brought republican support to the legislation. the irony was the very people -- some of the people who were voactz of it one day changed their minds. so we took it out, out of the bill. the thing i wanted to make sure is that the taxpayers wouldn't be exposed. the house-passed legislation has $150 billion in a prepayment fund. and again i've heard my good friend from massachusetts, the chairman of the house financial services committee, barney
frank, say that he'd like to take that out as well, today in light of some of the allegations that have been made about the bism so we took that owvment i know my clegs colleague from alabama referenced that and may not have been aware that that was one of the provisions in the shelby-dodd amendment to remove that premaimen prepayment, if y, fund created in the earlier draft. striking the orderly liquidation strategy as the sessions amendment would do would do just ththe opposite of what the amendment's sponsors intended. it would ensure that we face a repeat of the unacceptable choices between a disastrous bankruptcy where innocent, solvent, well-run companies could be caught in the vortex and drawn down and destroyed in the process. or writing that big check that americans are furious over. and so we created this resolution authority under very rare circumstances to be used. the senate of course supported our proposal, the shelby-dodd
approach by a vote of 93-5. and i'd urge my colleagues, both democrats and republicans to reaffirm their support for ending the too-big-to-fail concept by rejecting the sessions amendment. and i say that respectfully of my colleague from alabama. he's been a long-standing member of the judiciary committee. he knows these issues well. and i understand his concerns. but i believe as senator leahy will speak to either directly or indirectly, this would be a -- do great department of justice to this bill and expose us once again to that taxpayer bailout. which none of us want whatsoever. because if bankruptcy would cause greater harm to our economy than just the failure of one company, then what are we left with if we reject that idea? we're back to the bailout scenario. and none of us want to be in that situation ever again. so, mr. president, i urge when the vote occurs tomorrow that we rewrect the sessions amendment -- reject the sessions
amendment. stick with what we have written in this bill. over many, many months, by the way. this was not drafted over a weekend, can i tell you that. we have gone back literally months trying to get this right and listened to literally hundreds of people who brought their expertise and knowledge to the process. it was clearly a bipartisan effort in our committee along with others to craft the first two titles of our bill. and so i urge again the rejection of the sessions amendment when it occurs. mr. president, let me also, if i may, ask unanimous consent that the durbin and franken amendments be considered withdrawn and that the durbin amendment 3989 and the franken amendment 3991 be considered called up in their place. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate now resume consideration of the landrieu amendment 3956 and the crapo amendment 3992. that the landrieu amendment be agreed to and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the
table. that the crapo amendment unfunded mandate 3992 be modified with the changes at the desk. that the amendment as modified be considered and agreed to and the motion to reconsider be made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: mr. president, again, i want to take a moment and express my gratitude to our colleagues. i want to thank senator landrieu. she was involved in a lot of this. and i want to thank her immensely for her contribution. she chairs the small business committee of the united states senate. she and my very good friend from georgia, johnny isakson, crafted a very good amendment which we have just adopted and is going to make i think our whole session dealing with underwriting a very important part of this bill, and i thank them for that. i want to thank senator crapo, mike crapo from idaho, my colleague on the banking committee. he made a very constructive suggestion to this part of the
bill. i want to thank his staff as well and the staff of senator landrieu who did a very good job in working through the language this afternoon that allow us to come to this conclusion. they both couldn't be here at this particular moment late in the evening, so i'm speaking on their what was, -- on their behalves, but i thank them both. this is exactly what we're trying to achieve with this bill. it's taken a lot of time on the floor of the united states senate. but the contributions of republicans and democrats, people like johnny isakson, senator crapo, senator collins, so many that have contributed to this product that we're trying to produce here in dealing with a very complex area, a critically needed one in our nation. we're getting closer and closer to final passage of this bill. we have more amendments to consider. but my hope is in the next few days we can wrap up the remaining amendments, have our opportunity to vote, debate on these matters and then get to the point where we can cast our
ballots in favor of what i hope will be an overwhelming vote in favor of finance reform and this legislation. now, tomorrow as i mentioned early there will be some nine amendments that we have at least set up for debate. i will be looking for time agreements on them. for those who may be listening at this late hour in the respective offices, i would urge them to give us -- you want a decent amount of time, but please do not ask for exaggerated amounts of time. there are still many more amendments to consider. we're going to be here on friday. we won't have votes on friday. i want to get all of these matters voted on tomorrow and additional amendments before we finish tomorrow evening. and then to take friday, i will be here to listen to debate, maybe lay down remaining amendments to be considered on monday when we come back, and then my hope is that by tuesday, no later than tuesday, at the maximum maybe wednesday, we could have a final passage on this bill.
i know there are other matters that the majority leader wants to handle, and i can't thank him enough for providing the kind of window that has allowed this senate to operate without tabling motions. we have only had one, and we haven't had any segd -- second-degree amendments on any amendment so far. no filibusters involved at all on a very major piece of legislation. as i said earlier today when all of us at one time or another talked to students in our respective states and they ask us about how the senate functions, we usually describe exactly what's happening. the unfortunate part is it rarely does in this way, and we're not done yet. so i realize i -- we have not completed a process yet, but this -- this is how this institution was intended to operate. the people have a right to offer their amendments, to be heard, to debate them and to vote on critical issues facing our country. and i never thought a few weeks ago that we might actually get to this point where we're engaging in the business of the
senate, offering amendments, debating them, trying to modify where we can to agree on how best to do this. there are 100 of us sitting here, trying to craft a piece of legislation that affects the 300 million of our fellow citizens in this nation, not to mention others beyond our own shores. because we're setting rules by which we're going to operate. my hope is that these rules will be harmonized with others around the world so that we can avoid the kind of catastrophes occurring in europe as i speak here as well as the problems that can emerge in asian markets and elsewhere. so this is more than just an undertaking. i was told yesterday to give you an idea, speaking to the chairman of the federal reserve board, that he notified me that during one of our debates yesterday, the central bankers of europe today, because of the availability of technology, were literally watching and monitoring the debate on the floor of the senate about a critical issue as it was occurring. that's how the world has changed. today the actions we take here
not only affect what happens in our own country but elsewhere as well, and this is a major undertaking. i can't begin to express my gratitude to my fellow colleagues for the manner in which they have conducted this debate. my thanks to majority leader harry reid particularly for -- only through the majority leader can you create an environment that allows this to happen. that's -- that's leadership that harry reid has demonstrated over and over and over again on his stewardship as the leader, the majority leader of this body. and again, with all the other things he has to grapple with and deal with, many other issues to confront here, this is the kind of leadership the american people expect to see, and he is providing it for our country. and i say that again and i thank my colleague from alabama, senator shelby, the ranking member as well for his work and the staff's work, and again i thank the floor staff and others in the respective offices. with that, mr. president, i'll
i'll -- mr. dodd: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. dodd: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to executive session and the rules committee be discharged from further consideration of p.n. 14 8, the nomination of steven ayers to be architect of the capitol. and the senate then proceed to the nomination, that the nomination be confirmed, and the motion to reconsider be considered, made and laid upon the table, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: let me add congratulations to mr. ayers. that's a very important job here. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate consider calendar number 887, 888 and 889 and 890, that the nominations be confirmed en bloc, that the motions to reconsider be laid
upon the table en bloc, that no further motions be in order, that any statements relating to the nominations appear at the appropriate place in the record as if read, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of s. res. 522 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 522, recognizing national nurses week. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. dodd: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate and any statements related to the resolution be placed in the record at the appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without
objection. mr. dodd: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of s. res. 523 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 523, honoring the crew members who perished aboard the offshore oil rig deep water horizon and extending the condolences of the senate to the families and loved ones of the deceased crew members. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. dodd: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate and any statements related to the resolution be placed in the record at the appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. tomorrow, thursday, may 13. that following the prayer and pledge, the journal of the proceedings be approved to date, the morning hour be deemed expired, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day, the senate
resume consideration of s. 3217, wall street reform, and that the senate recess from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: mr. president, we have eight amendments pending. the senate should expect roll call votes throughout thursday's session as we continue process -- continue to process amendments on the wall street reform legislation. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the the presiding officer: the
leaders followed by their questioning of the company leaders. [inaudible conversations] >> this committee will come to order. today we have a hearing titled inquiry into deep water horizon gulf coast oil spill. we then number of members present for this hearing who are not members of the committee are numbers of the full committee. we welcome them and i know they will be allowed to submit written statements for the record but i -- they will not be allowed to deliver verbal opening statements. in addition after all subcommittee members complete their questioning the full committee members will be allowed to ask questions. members who are not on the aowek subcommittee or the full committee are welcome to observo but they will not be permitted to give a firm opening statement or ask questions due to time constraints. state
the chairman, ranking member and chairman emeritus will now be recognized for ten minutechai opening statements. m other members of the e subcommittee will be recognized for three minute openingstatem statements. i yield to the chairman of the full committee mr. waxman for ad opening statement. i yield >> thank you jury much. last month a blowout occurred on an oil rigs drilling the deep water off the gulf of mexico. 11 people lost their lives at an environmental calamity is now on folding in the gulf as oil is n unfolding m the well and threatens thein coast. we are here today to begin the heocess of understanding what tt went wrong and what we need to n do to prevent future catastrophes. need to the investigation is at its early stage. earl dy we have learned key facts. ct, one of the world's largestfa oil companies assured congress and the public it could operates safely in deep water and that a
major oil spill was next to impossible. to now know those assurances were wrong. halliburton, one of the world's largest oil service company says that it had secured the well through a procedure called cementing i and the well had passed a key pressure test.cemet but we now know this is an but incomplete account.s a incompte acd pass positive pressure tests but there is did evidence that it may not haveive passed a crucial negative n pressure tests. according to a senior btoressure official, significant pressure discrepancies were observed with the least two of the tests whic were conducted just hours befors the explosion. transocean, one of the world's largest operators of drilling, f rigs says it has no reason to believe the rigs failed safe non device called a blowout preventer wasn't fullyfa
operational. but we've learned from cameron, the manufacture of the blowoutly preventer the device had a leakd in the system and defectively configured ram and we know there are major questions about the effectiveness of the bp response effe to the spill.bp's the company said it could manag. a spill of 250,000 barrels a dai yet it is struggling to cope2500 with this blowout which is releasing only 5,000 to 25,000 barrels a day. the more i learn about this accident, the more concerned i a become. this catastrophe appears to have been caused by, but this seriese of equipment and operational cam failures. it's the largest oil and oil service companies in the worldst had been more careful, 11 livese might have been saved and the
coast lines protected.aved it's dangerous to drill for oil on my all below the ocean's f surface. a an accident can wreak environmental havoc that destroys livelihoods and fish and wildlife. a the oil companies need billions of dollars from taking thesees e risks but they don't bear the te full cost when something goes drastically wrong. drtically rse of our investigation we have receivedhu wer 100 fils and pages ofinves, documents. the story that these documents and our interviews tell us as a complicated one. at this early stage of the investigation, we have far more questions than answers but we've learned some important facts which german stupak, marty and f will describe in ourac statemen there are four principal areas our committees%. the first involves questions coe related to the well integrity. v
weolves know there was a failurf the well because gas surge off fertilizer and exploded on theea rig.d up we will be investigating what caused the reach of the well integrity and who was well responsible. the second area of inquiry whoas involves what happened on the invo transocean raid. o there are pressure monitors on the rig that feed information constantly to be drill operatorn and there are panels thatrill control the operations of the p blowout preventeran and the of t natural string. we will be examining what thetee drill operators knew and what the decisions they made. in the rest of my statement, i will discuss what we learned about these two areas of the led inquiry. of the third area involves the blue capri center which is alsoy called the blp. this is supposed to be the last line of defense against the low blows out of the well but itne n
failed. we have learned a lot about the blowout preventer and german a l stupak will summarize this part of our investigation. cman the final area of inquiryrt the nals the response of bp and other companies to this spill. i they promised to contain any this bill but they are not t succeeding.tain chairman markey who chairs the t energy subcommittee and the select committee on energy o independence will cover thishe area of our inquiry in his areaing statement. we recently received a document from bp called "what we know." it was prepared on may 6th and summarizes what bp new about this bill at that time. s and i want to focus on the first four bullets. want i also ask unanimous consent, mr. chairman, this document andk others cited during the hearing be made part of the officialocut araring record. p >> without objection, so be it. >> the first bullet says, quote. before, during or after theys,
cement job and undetected influe of hydrocarbon entered the well andin of quote. what this means is that there was a breach somewhere in the well integrity bald methane gas and possibly other hydrocarbon w to enter the well. the second bullet says theays casing was testing. the negative 7h casing was tested and the entire system was tested, and of quote.ger bp explained to us this refers to a positive pressure test in s the well. refe what this means is if fluids were injected in the well to increase the pressure andello monitor whether fell well what retain its integrity. the well passed the test. riggs like deep water horizon and keep a daily drilling report and transocean has given the
report of april 20 of the day of the explosion. it is an incomplete called because it ends at 3:00 in the i afternoon about seven hours before the explosion but a bnference of the three positivs pressure tests were conducted in the morning to the early cducted afternoon. the next bullet says, quote come after 16 and a half hours waiting on a cement a test was performed below the blowout, and of quote.he bp and explained what this means. us halliburton completed cementing the well at 12:35 a.m. on april 20 at, and giving the scene in time to set a negativev pressure test was conducted pare of 5 p.m..as this is an important test.5:00 during the negative pressure test the fluid pressure inside of the well is reduced and thets well is observed to see whether any gas leaks into the well for
the samet or casings.he according to james diprete, bp senior vice president to theg gulf of mexico, the well didn'tv passice this test.id mr. diprete told the staff ontet monday since the test results was not satisfactory and was result inconclusive significant pressure discrepancies were recorded. asepan a result negative pressue tests were conducted in the fourth bullet.he during this test 1400 psi was observed while zero psi was 00 observed on the kill and pipe chokepoints.psi according to mr. diprete this i also in on a satisfactory test result. to kill and julca lines run froy the drill rig 5,000 feet to the prosecut blowout preventer at the floor. the drill pipe runs from futrell through the blowout preventer
deep into the well. in the test the pressure iseven measured at any point from the drill rig to the blowout preventer should be the same in all three lines. but with the test showed was the pressure in the drill pipe were th significantly higher. sig mr. dupre explained the results. could signal that an influx of nas was causing pressure to a mount an side of the well.essuro another document provided by bp entthe committee is labeled wham could have happened. it was prepared by bp on april 26 to 10 days before thedy first document and according to bp their understanding of the cause of this bill has evolvedbp considerably since april 26 so the document should not be considered definitive. s but it's also describes the to negative pressure tests andibes pressure discrepancies that were
recorded. what happened next is murky. mr. diprete told the committeeet staff he believed it blew moments after the second pressure test. but lawyers for bp contacted the ressure committee yesterday and provided a different account. according to the bp council further investigation is revealed that additional protests were taken and atreveat 8 p.m. company officialsnd a determined the additional results justified in doing the test and proceeding with the well operations. this confusion among bpl officials appears to echooperats confusion on the rig. information review by the yommittee describes an internalb debate between transocean and dp personnel about how to proceed. what we do know is that shortlyo before 10 p.m. just two hours after the operations apparently resumed gas surged from the well
of the riser and the rig the exploded in a fireball.ig this hearing and future hearings the committee will conduct inre. the coming weeks will explore ha theri pressures. our goal is to work and to leare what caused the fatal explosion so congress and executive brance can act to prevent future disasters. can but as we focus on these narrow questions of what happened andse why, we also need to keep theape broad perspective in mind.he the national energy policy ismi broken and nothing illustrates y this better than this massivells spill. our dependence on the oriole and other fossil fuel is foundingepn the beaches, polluting thefossil atmosphere and undermining our sphereal security. one was and is already apparent from the catastrophe in the gulf.lready we need an energy policy that te emphasizes queen of renewable sources of energy.
we can't snap our fingers andlee transform our energy economyings overnight. if we do not have the courage ty overght.the oil companies and take precise of steps to reduce our over reliance on oil whensi the consequences of doingeduce nothing or so we may never start on the path toward the clean energy economy.ard mr. chairman, i look forward to today's hearing and thank the to witnesses for appearing and for their cooperation in the investigation. >> thank you, mr. chairman. f >>xt i will go to mr. barton, a ranking member of the full committee for an opening statement.barton you're opening statement,he f please? ope >> thank you, chairman stupak. i'm going to submit my statement fohe the record and speak extemporaneously because i think based on what chairman waxman tempor said we need to set the parameters. nd to there is nobody on either side ofrs. the aisle in the subcommio
or the full committee doesn't want to get back on the table about what happened down in the gulf f of mexico approximately a month ago. why yet happened, what can be a done to prevent it from happening in the future and the mediating in a damages both human and environmental. 11 people lost their lives is the primary tragedy the fact that 5,000 barrels a day is5,00 spilling out of the well and coming to beginning to wash upog from the beaches in louisiana dnd alabama is a problem but itn is a problem that can be. a i want to focus on some of the things chairman waxman said at the end of the statement when he made the comment that if we of can't take on in the oil c
industry as if this were some the sort of an adversarial situatioy between the people and the some s industry nothing could be further from the truth.the indu. truth.ited states of america is the greatest nation in the world because we are based on theest n promise of freedom for every because individual in this country.or that freedom is enunciated ininn the declaration of independence. our founding fathers had the foresight and the wisdom and so far political leadership the s last 200 years and said of the best way to protect our freedom is to provide maximum economic opportunities f to the free-marm capitalist system.mic we are one of the few nations in wee one d that have let the private sector develop the natural resource base that ishe given the most productive economy the largest economygi literally the united statesconoy economy by itself is approximately one-third of the i
total world's gross product. that is not a consequence of government. it's a consequence of free men and women exercising free choice as to maximize their opportunity and so doing create economicree opportunity for everybody in thg world. we are in a situation now where if we are going to have additional domestic energy now production in a way that maintains existing lifestyles it is going to be because we didn't our natural resource base bothti onshoreng and offshore. i have no problem with the alternative energy sources would it be solar, wind, ethanol,sola hydro, you name it.ro but there is a reason we are in oil based economy.hat it's because the barrel of oil refined into all of the prada ducks but flow from its have a
tremendous, tremendous productivity potential. you can take a gallon of gasoline and you can power a 4,000-pound car with four adultp and at 60 miles an hour in air conditioned on the highway all the way from new york city tor los angeles california. now, we do not want on either side of the aisle to have people have to import more and more hav foreign oil whether we like it or not the only real place tono, find a ticket additional oil desits inin meaningful quantities is in the outer continental shelf. now we have had an accident. it is not an act of god.accide the amount of pressure, the amount of gas and oil that am cannot whole is something doubles foreseeable. borehol
it is something thate could have been and should have beenforese. contained. the blowout prevention equipmene that was onen and the reagan haa owe bl as onn capacity that should have corolledrol of the explosion. it didn't believe the fact we have uncovered in this investigation to the documents n that have been provided showen their wares in all probability shoddy maintenance. miere were mislabeled components of the diagrams depict the actual equipment but that was not an act of lot like a that hurricane or earthquake or a volcano that man can't control.a now through the effort of this subcommittee and the full committee and some of the others tmmittees we will get to thebcd bottom of it. we will find out the facts and take corrective measures to prevent that from happening in the future whether it is legislatively or regulatoryrevet
through best practice exchanges by the industry.egisvely ret what we should not do, mr. chairman, is make the t decision to fence off the outers continental shelf to use this as the equivalent of the three mile cont island accident for nuclear power and set back domestic oil and gas production and the outer continental shelf the next 30 ol 40 years.roductio the would not only be a mistake in my opinion there would be aif disservice to the american people. so i don't want to take on theb industry. i want to work with the industrt and work with congress and find i w with the problem was and i want to solve that problem and i want to move forward. i wantt want the united states of america to import 12 to 14 there was of oil a day.impo the one of well in the gulf also british petroleum hasn't been gf explicit, the one while probably has the potential to produce 50,000 barrels of oil a day. to to put it in perspective there a
are a million oil wells producing on shore producingonss 200,000, producing a million barrels of oil, it is 5 barrels a day per well in texas. ne well is the equivalentwell, to 10,000 oil wells in texas.as. the one well is one or 2% ofne production capacity existing in the gulf of mexico today. ca mr. sherman, we can't fence that off. we can correct the problem and prevent the problem. an can try to change the technology. but do not use this hearing, us this accident as an excuse to take away from the americanway o people probably the biggest domestic energy resources we pra have yet to develop on the norty american continent. w yet with that mr. chairman i yield amer the balance of my time and i look forward to hearing fromw the witnesses. i
>> thank you, mr. barton. m i will do my opening statement now. three years ago almost to the ll do day the subcommittee held a hearing into the britishnow. petroleum disasters at texas and the north slope of alaska. texas refinery explosion resulted in the death of 15 workers and injured more than 170 people. as a result of the accident inap bp failure to correct potential as a hazards rfaced by employees at texas city, osha has twices at s slapped fines totaling more thas $140 million. facilityg cri bp's colin 207 ret of the management accountabilits reoject which stated, and i quote, the culture that evolved over the years seemed to ignorea the risks, tolerate y noncompliance and accept the incompetence. in march of 2006 bp discovered the pipeline on alaska's north shore, north slope excuse me,r e north slope spilled more than
200,000 gallons of the tundra e making it the largest bill in the north slope history. the hearings discovered of ahe significant cost-cuttingng it t sloperes resulted in decreased maintenance and inspections of pipeline and pp managementin d culture detoured individualsectn from raising safety concerns. since the last hearing, bpom rat concerns.ed problems on they north slope.on the seemberer, 2008. september 29, 2008. and 8-inch high pressure gas line at the locations abraded ignding three pieces of pipe intoh the tundra.ocation one fragment of the pieplant ite of0 feet from the pipeline, roughly 30 minutes later a900 mcond unrelated incidenty 30 occurred where there was a gas c release. january 15th, 2009. where a disk became lodged in the 44-inch transnet monitoring theo of deoiling causing a thr significant denting of gas into
the atmosphere and complete shutdown of the trans-alaska ath shutwnne. october 10th, 2009. at the central compressor plant low pressure fleer staging fouls were stock closed causing gas to travel to the pressure belt which activated, caused the gas to bend to the atmosphere whichm could have caused an explosion. november 28, 2009. and 18-inch, three phase, innovt line near the liz durham18-inch production center carrying crude oil, water and natural gas from church, sprained the content over an estimated 84,000 squares feet. i ints addition to the pipeline incidents, they're have been several personal injury actspipe where employees have been led as was the tragic case on november 18th when he was crushed between the pipeline and a truck. today we are here to investigatn the latest bp tragedy. one that has resulted in ther t loss of 11 lives and is well onp its way to become one of then to
largest oil spills in the on i w nation's history. the let me to get on behalf of thelr entire committee to convey the top sympathies to the family,me friends and co-workers of the 1m individuals lost on that fateful day. april 20 of an explosion and ont fire occurred in the deep water rise in drilling rig that bp waa leasing to drill a well in the gulf of mexico. the of rick was owned and bp was operated by transocean, the of e largest offshore drilling and company under contract from bp. on april 22nd it capsized and l sank to the floor of the ocean l resulting in a oil and leaks from three separate locations among the wreckage. the world is wondering what went wrong to allow the explosive gas to shoot out of the trial pipe on to the deep water horizon to causing the explosion? on we heard chairman waxman discuss the reasons what may have gonees wrong inio the well and what wet wrong on the rig. i would like to take a few gone minutes to discuss issues what related to a blowout preventerut
which was a ofail-safe system that cut off the oil and gas toa the rig. fleeoil an the testimony today, mr. lamar mckay of bp america says themar presenters are and i quote presi retended to be field proved.rs a but that didn't happen.fail the blowup printer used by the deep water rise and failed to stop the flow of gas and oil. hz theon rig exploded and the flo enormous oil spill was now threatening the gulf coast. oi know about the blowouts preventer, it didn't properly engage. ithe has multiple rams supposedo slam shut to pinch off any flow. around the pipe and stop the rah flow of oil from the well.t there are also rams cover supposed to cut and sealed to prevent oil and gas from flooding. the question we will ask is why preve oil did they fail?th thesenve estigation is at its early stages but already we have uncovered at least fourrly stes.
significant problems with the leas well preventer used on the deep water to rise in drilling rig. first, the blow well preventer had a significant week in the hydraulic system. it was found in the hydraulicgnn system that provides emergencyat power that are supposed to cut t the pipe and seal the well.ramsa i would like to putre on the screen a document the committeee received from bp. fe document states leaks haveed been discovered in the hydraulis system. hav the blow well prevent was manufactured.hydrausystem. we asked a senior official at cameron what he knew about the caron and he told us when the remote operating vehicles triedd to operate the noticed loss ofho pressure. ope the interest to get this by not invcting dye into the hydrauliy fueled much of a large leak coming from the loose fitting hd cong fromas backed of several terms. the cannon officials told us he didn't believe the leak was caused by a blowout becauseot
every other system was tight.owt we also asked about the t sycophant of the week. the camera officials said it was one of the law several possible motives. if the lead to price sufficient power they might not succeed cutting through the drill pipe mit not of a well. second, we learned the blowball bloutnter had been modified in unexpected ways one of the modifications with potentiallyw. significant.odificatns was the blow well preventer has an underwater control panel. bp spent the day trying to use the control panel to activate a variable rate on the blue capri venture that isol panel to desie where doubt in the pipe and welr in other words pinch off the flow of oil. when they investigated by theorh attempt failed to activate the ramp they learned that the invga bo ram,had been modified to read a useless test ramp, theeen variable ramp had been connectea to the sock that was supposed to act as a variable rim.
an antiyour day's worth of time entiren spent in beijing ramps that closed the wrong way because it was wired wrong. bp told us the modifications on were extensive. th accident the asked speed line for drawings of the blow up proven to because the tran modifications that drawings they received did not match the structure on the seafloor.y st said they wasted many hours trying to figure this out. man third, we low dee dee to learn the blood per vendor is a powerful enough to cut through t the joint in the pipe. we found a transition document i powerf ille to put onul the screen, and it says most are designed to share effectively only of the ad body of the drill pipe. esocedures for to use of vsr mur assure there is no joint opposite of the ramp prior to sharing. tool j this seemed down because the threat joint between the sections of the drill pipe make
up about 10% of the length of of pipe. if bushehr cannot cut through the joint that would mean the o-called failsafe device wouldd succeed cutting of the drillcald pipe only 90% of the time we cut asked the camera officials abou the cutting capacity of the blah, blah opera in from the deep water horizon. of he confirmed it isn't powerful n enough to cut through the joint and total pipe.t is he told us n this was anotherh c possible explanation for failure of the blue wall preventer to seal the well.e of the to sea the learn emergency controls on the block wall prevent her may have failed. emer the printer has to emergencyblot controls. one is called emergency disconnect system or eds.nect the pete rose eds was activated on the drill rig before the rigs was evacuated. e t the camera and a officials r said the signals didn't reach a th doubted tenter on the seabed. cameron officials believe the explosion on the rig destroyed the communications link to the blowup presenter before the offa emergency sequence could be
completed. in other words emergency failed becauseve explosion that caused emergencyd awful disabled communications te the blowup presenter. still, the blow up the printer has a deadions to man's which s repposed to activate the blow up presenter when all else fails. s but according to cameron therebt were multiple scenarios thatentw could havehe caused the demands which not to activate. one is human oversight. swch nad man's which may not haveot been enabled prior to installing the gop on the oceanr floor.nstallin one is a lack of maintenance. the switch won't work if thek o batteries are dead. the dead man's which is won'tk connected to two separate control pods on the blow up stcs printer. con the owouteyct on battery power o operate. when one of the country potts by was removed the battery was one found to be dead. the battery in the other pawed fo has still not yet been inspected.e battery but also there appears to be a design problem. the dittman switch at this onlyb
when three separate lines thatem connect the rigged to blow up atevered. are all the communication, power, and hydraulic lines. severe cameron believes the power and a communication lines were severed losion, but ithydrau iss the possible the hydraulic lineseved but iisd intact, which would have stopped the dead man switch from activating.d int these are not the only failure scenarios that could impair the function of the blowup only preventer. the kim officially met withpair described many other potential problems that could haveron o scriented theff blowup presentee frombed functioning properly.tee the casings were casing hangar could have been ejected from the well and blocks the operations of the ramps. the drill pipe could have been severed successfully but then it ra dropped -- then dropped from tht rig breaking the seal. but tn or operators of the rig could have tried to activate the shea rams by pushing de shear ramd ta button. this would initiate attempt to close the ram but when it haveb. been successful. close the shear ram do not have theee. power to cut drill pipe unless
the theysh are activated three emergencies which or the dead p man's unless they are activated gh which. .. fact, we uncovered an astonishing document transocean prepared in 2001 when it bought the blowout preventer from cameron. i'd like to display the summary of this. it says there are 2060 separate failure modes that could require pulling of the b.o.p. according to this report, the predominant failures including ram blocking mechanisms. how can a device that has 260 failure modes be considered failsafe? the problems with the blowout preventer extend to the procedures for testing the device. ceo of transocean steven newman says in his testimony and i quote, we have no reason to believe they were not operational. they were jointly tested by bp
and transocean personnel as specified on april 10th and 17th and found to be functional. this assertion seems to be contradicted by a document prepared by bp on april 27th, one week after the explosion. according to this document and a quote, the blownout protector emergency systems are not typically tested once the b.o.p. stack is on the seabed. what this means is that while some fions t the emergency system, including the dead man switch and a leaky emergency hydraulic system were unlikely to have been tested.ras after the alaska pipeline in texas refinery disasters, dp promise to make safety its number one ala priority. this hearing will raise to mak questions about whether bp and its partners fulfilled his commitment. she safety of this entireisng wl operation underperformance of the leakyhi modified blowout preventer. this isrfor the first of what w certainly be multiple hearings into this disaster. i look forward to a franken
spirited discussion with their witnessesyo today. i ask unanimous consent the documents they refer to be entered into theor record. >> should be noted for members that we ask each of our witnesses to have a technicaled expert with them to help in answering any technical f questions. to our witnesses you may consult with your technic zero and if w get to a point where you need t answer directly we would have y been sworn in an otherwise we will look to you for the answers. without let's begin ourr diear questions. minutes the th first round. mr. waxman.questi >> thank you mr. chairman.on i want to return to to a pryor raised my opening statement and that was the question about ayo, series of pressure tests before the blowout took place.a es my understanding is that there are two types of pressure tests. a positive test involves adding fluids into thelo well entries,h exert additional pressure.
this tells the well operatorxert whether fluid can flow from the well into the surrounding formations a. the a negative pressure test is reverse. a remove some of that pressure creating an inward or outward force from the pressure differential. that would be used to detect flow into the well very preach in the cement or the casing. to both tests are important andntoe failure of either test can suggest that the b failure of te seals or the well's integrity. mr. newman am i right in myeals understanding that the significance of these to test? >> chairman waxman i would agree with your assessmentne that performance, successful performance is critical to understanding the condition and integrity of the casing and the cement and the negative response >> yes, i do. >> i understand the well had a
positive pressure test on aprilt 2010 but i also understand when negative pressure tests were performed later that day, starting around 5:00 p.m., there were anomalous results. let's go back to the documented entitled what we know which was put out by bp. it says,. [roll call]titl, after 16 and a half hour waiting on the cement, a test was performed on the well boardfter below the blowout preventer. and then it says, during this psi was observed on the drill pipe while zero psi was observed on the kill and the choke lines.l mr. newman can you explain what a 1400-pound discrepancy in the negative pressure test might signify and what its importance might be? mht >> the indication of 1400 psi on the drill pipe would indicatepsi
that there was pressure in the well board being registered on the pressure gauge attached to the drill pipethe wou i. the absence of pressure would indicate a discrepancy between the well pressure being measured by the drill pipe and the bore annulus pressure being measured by the choke and kill line.e >> what significance does that have? >> the significance of the discrepancy between the two py pressures would lead to ave? conclusion that there was something happening in the well bore that shouldn't be happening. and mr. prober do you agree? >> difficult to speculate but i do think that discrepancy is critical and the investigation we will have to tell that-- tear that apart.ancy >> mr. probert? >> we don't have knowledge of this mechanical. >> i'm just asking if that is at
explanation of theha differentil is accurate?anatio accurate? >> yes i would say. >> okay. now,s mr. mckay, mr. dupree fro, bp told us on monday, he said their the results were not satisfactory, and he said therew were possible warnings that gasn was seepingot into the well andy building a pressure inside the borehole. mr. dupree is your senior the official responsible for the operations in the gulf of mexico. do you agree with his assessment? >> mr. dupree has been working on the crisis 20 hours a day. i wasn't sitting in on the. meeting that you are referring to so i was not privy to that review. 20 what i would say, 1400 psa on the drill drill pipe and no psi on the choke and kill line indicates something should bech investigated, absolutely. >> theil anomalies of the pressn testing present a significant question that should be
thoroughly investigated. hours before the explosion tests on the well return results that signaled a possible well shat sn and the imports of gas in the wall. yet it appears that the company did not suspend while operations are now 11 workers are dead inin the gulf coast region faces environmental damage. we need to know if a that is the case and why it was the case ana it appears from mr. dupree's statements to our staff but that was the result of the test, the negative test that was taken.thu >> thank you mr. chairman and it yield back my time. >> mr. barton for questions. >> thank you mr. chairman.ld i have watched the testimony in my office since i have been out of work, so i have listened to the opening statement and to the members questions. the members opening statements.y so i have been participating by video. my first question is generally to the panel.
do any any of you allege that the incident that occurred should not have been foreseen, that it was such a catastrophic nature that the equipment and the technology should not have contained it? >> do you understand what i am saying? i see absolutely no response. >> could i respond? >> let me rephrase it. does anybody here believe that the blowout preventer and the eechnology employed in the procedures, if they had worked properly, could not have prevented this spill?chn >> representative barton, it is important to understand the design constraints of a blowout preventer. a blowout preventer is not a
designed to close around significant debris.sign a blowout preventero is designed to close around a drill pipe and most sizes of casings.se but without knowing exactly what is inside the blowout preventer today, it is difficult to conclude that the blowout blowout preventer wasn't subjected to conditions that exceed its design constraintte. >> well, i am an ally, i am a supporter of ocs drilling. o i'm a registered professional engineer.m i'm not a petroleum engineer. i am not a geologist, but my assumption a is in order to geta permit to drill, you have to mms that you will puthe equipment on site to drill the well in such a fashion that you can handle expected problems,hat
and there have been millions of oil wells drilled and gas wells. there have been tens of thousands of gas wells drilled in the growth. itoi drill has to be a design pr that you can have a catastrophic preigssure release or a blowouto use the common term, and i would think that your blowout preventer and your technology, youran casing,d should be desigd to handle that. am i wrong? the gentleman who is the president of cameron. issue of blowout preventer. do you understand?>> i there is a volcano that exploded around this well.hat i mean, we don't know what happened, but my assumption is, and if my assumption is wrong,
then we have to reassess the entire ocs drilling program, that if the technology that worked and that people had time enough to respond even though you have the accident, it wouldr have been contained. it wouldugh have been shut off. am i wrong about that? he >> well, we don't know whatam i happened. about i think that is what everyone here is trying to learn. and until we know what happenedg but this investigation, we will not be able to answer whether the blowout preventer that was there was functioning for that purpose.ion, we are blowout preventer's are built and t designed to do specific things. we do know that they will not sheered and steel casings. that we d know. but they will shear and drill pipe's. >> but i mean when you get a permit from the mms i guess that's would go to the president of bp, you do have to b show tht
if you have some sort of a s, release, you can s prevented escaping into thereas, environment, don't you? >> yes, i believe thatou permitt requires a well construction plan that also requires the blowout preventer that is provided by the contractor with a permit and to answer your question i think in effect the designed, the procedures that thi were used in the functioning of the equipment w o going to be the mainstay of this investigation we do expect those toce, work.uipment >> it is my understanding, and t see my time is about over, it i, my understanding of the blowout preventer equipment isse still intact, that it is not, while it may be clogged up, or may not bl properly installed or connected in terms of the active-- activation mechanism, that it has not been damaged, so it just hasn't worked properly, but it
isn't like it has been bent ore deformed or impaired. is that correct?t' >> there are no outward externac indications of significant damage but i would caution the committee that the blowoute preventer as a result of what happened, particularly the sinking of the vessel. blowout preventer was subjected to significant stresse >> we are going to do another siund, is that right? >> yes mr. barton i think we will at least go around the t room. i i have spent a little bit of time on it, it blowout preventer detector, it is supposed to spea squeeze it off. if something goes wrong it is otec andtraw, you pinch it is that correct? mr. moore is that correct? this blowoutmo protector could l ok working. number one, there were
modifications that bp indicates they didn't know about, transition said no they knew m about it five years ago. there was a hydraulic leak. the that would not have enough pressure in there in there so t you could pinch this off if that hydraulic leak is seriousave enough. is thatugh correct? >> that could be, we are not sure. >> you also indicated that, we have these joints here and at if these joints iat coore? are in s blowout protector, it won't cut a joint. >> those joints are in a shear t room, it will not cut a. >> also the deadmen switch, besides the design, even the battery in this case, the ones h control panel we did find, the battery wasn't working, correctb >> that is what we were led to n believe, yes. >> okay. >> let me ask this. this is a 2001 blowout protector for this? >> correct it was built in 2001n >> in 2003 and in 2004 there were new regulations for blowout
ototector's, were there not? >> in terms of sheer incapacityf >> sharing capacity in shticular. >> yes. >> doesn't section 250.416e indicate that now requires the lessee of the case in this case bp to show information that the shear room installed in these, r stack are capable of sharing the drill pipe in the hole under maximum and anticipated surfacel pressures. >> i'm not aware of that particular article of. are >> how about you mr. mckay since you are the lessee in this case? nc itcl supposed to make sure tt a room can share the pot? to >> i'm not personally familiar with the article you are quoting. >> i'm talking about the rules of mms, rules and regulationsf that came out in 2003. mr. newman are you familiar with those? >> i believe chairman you arer referring to the code of feder
regulations,ch subsection 250. yes sir i'm familiar with those. >> they are supposed to be of the cutod these things in half n case there is an accident? to >> the blind chair ramps are supposed to be able to share the tubular. she r >> what kind of testing did youe transocean rbp due to make ang determination that the sheertrao rams were satisfactory and coulo cut the pipe did something happen?e to do any testing?ething >> in terms of confirming the capability? >> which are requireding? under 250. >> we rely on the test data that is provided by cameron. >> alright but the test data is just really pressure, nothing to do to make sure you have hydraulics. there is nothing in there to make the hydraulic fluid wasn't leaking out, was there? >> they are a regular test performed on theo bop. the bop as both, while the bop is on the rig, prior to its deployment, and then regularly while the bop is deployed on the
sea bed. >> right. in fact section 446b says everya three days weather permitting you must go down and looking at thect bop on the seafloor. does it not? >> ihe believe that is correct mr. chairman. >> did you do that in this case >> there is a remote operated vehicle t contracted by bp and located on the rig and it is out there for that purpose. the >> david r performed tests on tr bop sitting on the seafloor? >> theha only test that would perform in that situation is a andal inspection, observation of the bop. >> something as simple as, well then there was no shear test that wasbout performed on the seafloor, right?the' there is no shear testingform o performed on the seafloor to cut this baby? >> during the progress of well >> dtructed organizations in the routine testing performed there is nocons test where the shear s are actually subjected to a t sheering tests.
>> so the rov really just goes down and take a look at it? a? >> it observes the external observation of the bop. >> is there any test to make sure the batteries are working?t so you can view your kill switch to actually shut this thing dowo >> because the electronic signals which transmit back ando forth between the rig and the bop control system happen continuously, there would be an indication if the batteries were dead on the bop, there would be an indication of that on the red. >> you are saying you don't have to test it because as long asn the batteries are working it would indicate they were chargel in this case the control panel we were able to take a look at, the battery was supposed to be a 27 amps and it wasa added 18 amps. did your testing showed was be under the 27 amps required? >> i don't have an indication chairman that the test would i have indicated that the charge in the batteries had droppedtstt
from 27218. >> would you have documents that wouldhe show what the amps of these batteries were? do you have any kinds of recorde that would show that? >> unfortunately mr. chairman those records would have gone down with the rig. unrt >> we have to takeun the word of those it looked at this control panel that the battery wash absi actually dead and the dead man switch would not work, correct? you have no records to dispute that, correct?work >> i have no record to. >> my time is up.reco mr. burgess, five minutes for questions. fiv >> thank you mr. chairman. secon mr. mckay, to get back to some of the specifics of the modifications of the blowout jut protector, or what we know from tab for in the evidence binder, modifications that have been discovered in in the blowout protector system. can you give us the specific modifications that were discovered in the bop system?yov >> what i was referring to
yesterday is, while we were doing the rov, remote operated vehicle intervention, as the crisis had unfolded, we discovered there were rov, made.interventi unfoldt know personally whether those were the exactma modifications that mr. newmande reference that were done in 2005 or there were additional ones that i think that is a very important piece of the o investigation. we found leaking hosesr and theg diagrams that we were using real-time did not match the blowout preventer. >> mr. newman, if i incorrectly suggested those modifications were requested and were paid for by p.-- bp so it should be paid possible those records would not have gone down with the ship, would they? i we should be able tot get thate paper trail at some point established, should we not?l at >> if there were modifications that were requested?om
>> i have looked at the agreement that was signed between transocean mvps so yes we have>> a copy of that. sigd >> you will make that available to the committee? >> yes, sir.th that >> mr. mckay will you look at yourto records and help us with trying to define that? >> absolutely. >> let me ask -- a question tht mr. waxman was asking about negative pressure test. once i'd read 1400 psi and the other side read zero. what should the other side of ready up the pressure test had been absolutely perfect?ure >> the way i understand the configuration that was i hydraulically connected so the pressure is on the choke andas kill line and the drill pipe should've been the same. >> identical pressures.ke i am just a layman but that would indicate some obstruction allow pressure to be transmitted from the drilld c line to the kill line or vice to versa? >> i can't speculate as to why but they should have been theral same from the way they arecula
hydraulically connected, from what i understand. >> going back to the previousauc issue, committee staffers have been told by your staff mr. mckay that when bp attempted to operate the rams underwater the device was either mislabeled are notut labeled in the way tha anticipated. is that correct?sslabeled >> that is correct. i louisiana coast.
trouble getting bp to authorize additional purchase of additional boom and manufacture of additional boom. seems to me this should be all booon let's get the broom put intorom position and not go scrambling hor it. why is the governor's office feeling like they don't have an adequate supply of the? don >> we are accessing as i said earlier, we have got 1.1 million feet deployed in 2.4 million coming and we have got a unified area of command as far as deployment under the coast guard's direction1. so we have a supply chain cranked up to supply boom as well.d'sdi >> if i could suggest, i think there needs to be-- i was impressed when i went down ther last week the cooperation between bp and the coast guard unifieder command. i've got no complaints but iwee, think the governor feels thatmmn they don't have the ability to i
start w the production line andy they are going to need a lot more than what they have. >> i p will do two things. i will check on that and makehey sure and number 2 i know of no limits from bp about getting stuff done in terms of a foam. >> the other thing is they don't have the ratio of liaisons towie the number parachutes.cke otr there may t be one liaison to eight parachutes. sati >> thank you. >> the time has expired. mr. markey thomas five minutes for questions please. friday i-- this is oil from the gulf. oil and we now see thousands of square miles with this aweful sludge and although this bill
started about 50 miles offshoree it has now reached the louisiana coastline. you are saying that bp is doing everything in its power to ensure that this bill is being stopped, and that you currentlyt estimate that the leakinghi is 5000 barrels of oil per day into the gulf.5,0 but this isn't the only rig that bp operates in the gulf.he in its oil response plan for the gulf of mexico, dp identifies a worst-case scenario for exploratory wells, explosions from offshore drilling in the gulf of mexico.re drill a leak that would release the 250,000 barrels of oil per day into the ocean, about 30 miles
off the coast of louisiana. abo the specific exploration plan that youut provided to regulatos for the horizon wells state since bp and production inc. had the capability to have this certify bp hereby inc. has the capability to respond to the maximum extent practicable to a worst-case discharge. deepwater horizon rig well is leaking ansc estimated 5000 barrels a day, about 2% of the worst-case scenario of 250,000 barrels, which are companyof t assured the governm, the american people, that it was capable of addressing in the gulf.,
so, if bp is already using every availableddre resource to combat this bill of 5000 barrels per day, and it can't stop this bill from worsening, then i can't understand how in the world you can certify that you had the capability to respond to the ofll of 250,000 barrels per day. mr. mckay, you had better rethink your certification fora worst-case bill ofk yo 250,000 barrels perur day. can you really say now, as you sit here, but that certification is accurate, that you can y respond to a daily spill of 250,000 barrels per day? >> what i would say is that we are responding with three wha drilling rigs, a i surface response plan that was in place
detailed and is the largest that has ever been put in place.t w >> are you saying to us that yoh would use exactly the same p resources for a spill of 5000 barrels per day, which is what we have now, as you would for a spill of 250,000 barrels per day? specific.ill would be this particular one is complicated that the emergency disconnect did not work on top i of the blowout preventer so we are still connected with a riser that is 340 feet long.reiser we cannot get another blowout preventer on top of that right now which would be the normal00v course,te something you could dn with a riser was. >> i understand that the right scrambling to find enough boehm's. you were going to use nylon and hair to soak up the oiling . i can only conclude that youir really don't have the resources to respond to a spill of 250,000 barrels, and there are-- wells
all over the gulf that are oucking timend bombs. do you really think that you can certify, and again today, that you could respond to a spill of 250,000 barrels per day? >> as i said we are doing everything we can.day? i believe we will learn things from this, there is no doubt ad i believe that those certifications will be with the knowledge that we t have her gt >> i just wish you had a little more humility here today and a mission. last week he tried to plug the leak with a huge dome thatk, failed. now we are reading about a smaller top hat dome. if that fails, the solution looks increasinglyding desperato plug the leaks with a jump shot of golf balls and old tires and knotted ropes, soaking up some of the oil withho hair and nylo. each of your s companies has
represented technology leaders and d. buyer-- deep water oil and each of you now is flailing about with no clue about how you are going to get out of the mess you have gotten ourselves into. topo hats, golf balls, tires, hair, nylons. these are not the response actions of companies who are prepared for their worst-case scenario, accidents capable of carrying out their response plan.e of the american people expect your companies to have a technological response to this disaster on par with the apollo project, not project runway and that is what they are seeing night after night. you need to do better and you need to prepare for a worst-case scenario, for the ticking time bomb that could be out there somewhere off the coast of the united s ttates. thank you mr. chairman.
>> thank you mr. markey. mr. sullins and for a question. >> thank you mr. chair. this is a big mess. i realize that it is tough toss answer these questions.t y you are probably, if not already, going to be suing each other and there is going to beel litigation forre years on this. a lot of money is involved so i understand it is tough to answer these questions and it is easy to beat up onrs o a people whenh are down in a situation so i'm going to focus on something different, even though i think it isple bad. we are going to find out who is responsible and the investigation will be ongoing fn and we will do without them. i would like to focus on the solution right now. we can focus on the problem all day long and it is not going to get us anywhere.s let's focus on the solution. i would just like to askn mr. newman and mr. mckay, have you ever dealt with a blowout oa this magnitude in the gulf ever before? or even close?
>> we have never dealt with are blowup-- blowout. the >> both of you are involved with this and it is your rig, you are drilling. you are working together. he is a contractor. on the rig, who was quarterbacking the situation right now? who was in charge? it is his rig so you have, what do you call them, installationhs managers on the rig or offshore installation managers, if he r says something can you override if h i >> the manager on a transoceane vessel is the seniormost transocean individualhi welfare. that individual is responsible for the overall safety of the personnel and the vessel.eral >> mr. mckay saidaf something--o you accept that? also, i know you have got a lot going on the rig. there are people out there in harm'sw way feverishly working o
get this to stop. also we talked about the golf balls in the hair and all that. i know there are sophisticated t efforts going oaln.lls d could either of you, mr. mckay i guess, could you elaborate on what is going on on the shore.f do you have a command center?yo, are they working 24/7?on, have you tapped into the industry c, other companies, experts, the brightest in the wr world?ng what kind of technology or they are using?indust is there ary video piece on thee floor there? what kind of stuff is going on? >> west have several commanders. source control is in houston ans we have 160 companies working with us across the industry including s our colleagues and partners 6 as well as our competitors. we have the department of defense.dustry we have the navy. we have sandia labs. com we of have the brightest scientific minds in the world ie these types of situations working on it. we have the highestsc technology
in the world. typ as i said we have three different drilling vessels,hest transocean drilling vessels. we have 16 submarines operating around the blowout preventer. this junk shot is actually a very sophisticated operation. to in manifold has beenwo construcd to be utilized in 5000 feet of water. it is never been done. the coffer damma was on hand and we headed for shallow water. it f has hydrate problems. s on the surface we are using technology with the latestkn. disbursements. we are using subsea dispersal which we think is extremelyit effective and we would like to get continuous injection going on thatment. is it is an extremely high-tech, ts and the best mind in the world is working at 24/7.in >> all of these companies and he others are involved? >> that isnd right.. right now are you drilling wells ll now to go into two of them
i guess? >> we are drilling to relief a wells.ht n where one is started, the other will start this weekend.go ithe? >> i guess the cap would be plan a?rap >> the coffer dam had hydraten problems so we are working on a secondary plan. >> you have multiple approaches going on right now? >> really quickly wewe have different levels. attare-- we have the blowout preventer which is top kill is what we call it in that we have the containment and collection system so we have several things working on that and then we have the aggressive, on the surface attack which is trying to fight itgg as far offshore and proteci thes shoreline and clean up offr whatever gets too sure. >> when do you think this is going to stop? >> we are working every second to get it stopped as best as possible and there are viable
options that could work in the next fewng days to couple of wes and ultimatelys the permanent securing would be up to three so.hs or >> those wells you are drilling right now, how are they going to plug as well? >> we would drill and intercept the weldon there, just above heo right into the reservoir horizon ind pump heavy fluid to kill that will. >> that could take two months? >> will probably take about three months to get there in terms of the relief while. >> that would work? >> the normal way to kill a blowout is tobabl t sit-- permay secure it. >> thanke? you.s. >> thank you. gentlemen i want to focus on these last two h minutes at the >> twater horizon rig well right before the explosion that t triggered this catastrophic event. when i go for this accident in my head i try to understand what was in place to protect workers from a sudden event like this blowout.t
and i would like to talk aboutn what happened just before the explosion. can we bring up the halliburtont datastream on screen at.? mr. probert you testified part of your function on thisrton particular well was to provide real-time data collection. partu is that correct?la >> that is correct. speier company produced this rtc particular chart to ust? as part of the contract you had with bp to perform monitoring of the muf and other data on this rig. is that your understanding? >> that is correct. >> are you generally familiar of chart iss type used in well monitoring? >> generally, yes. >> what this chart shows is what was happening inside the o wello and on the rig in the final two hours before theni explosion, at if you look, this chart is broke and down into time intervals that areal reported-- recorded t 8:10 p.m. that evening.
>> there should be an exhibit up there if you want to look at it, mr. probert. >> hopefully that helps you out a little bit. it is exhibit number 5. go ahead. >> discovers a data interval from 2010 or 8:10 p.m. on april 20 to 2150, which would have been nine:50 that evening. is that the timeframe we are talking about?, 's b.s., and if you look at thid chart, there are several abnormal appearing entries where a wind goes vertical during a time interval between 2146 and 2148. do you see that? and what does suggest is that the pressure in the standpoint, in the standpipe at that moment shot up from 500 psi, pounds per
square inch to almost 3500 psc-t psi in the space of two minutes and that was immediately before the explosion, correct? >> the contact was lost with the rig. conta >> mr. probert, this is your th company's data. hat does this tell us? >> what is says is that at some point within two minutes or so of the loss of transmission that there were significant increase inof standpipe pressure.cant >> what is the significance ofpe that for people monitoring this well for safety and security reasons? >> the significance is to all parties who would have had access to data and also standarc gauges, which would show that this would be a significant red flag thi. >> in addition to gauges and this print out are there any
other typesican of built-in safy devices that wouldag. trigger a shutdown of the rig? >> i would have to defer that of question to mr. newman as to whether there are any shutdown a process is. >> mr. newman are you prepared reneanwer that question? >> if you could rephrase the question for me representative i would be happy to take it. >> have you ever had surgeryme mr. newman? >> i have had surgery. e >> right when you are undergoing anesthesia one of the things that happens is they put a pulse thimeter on your finger to gonitor your oxygen saturation level. do you remember that little device? >> the surgery i underwent was m dramatic and i was effectively incapacitated in advance of thet surgery. and >> just for the purpose of my question, just except that is what happens.>> they monitor your oxygenus saturation because they don't want you toes t die on the opero
table.or y and they areou built into that o machine, that the anesthesiologist uses alarm defaults when your saturation level gets to a certain level that that is considered hype toxic. everybody in that operating room needs to know that. my question for you is, in this particular setting, what type of alarm bells, whistles, alerts other than a pressure gauge to people working on that rig have available to them to tell them they have got a catastrophicwhil problemes that is unfolding? o >> there are a number of early indicators that are a present on a drilling rig that would alarm for the individuals who are monitoring those to give them an indication, whiche particular alarms would have been triggered in this instance depends on exactly what was happening and i don't know the answer about exactly what wast happening. >> how do we find out that information?ue howst are those of alarmsenin
recorded, what logs are kept and whatg. additional information ds we know to get to the bottom of what was transpiring on thato g rig?oot >> the alarms are monitored on the rig for what we refer to ass the vessel management a system. those alarms are logged and a record is kept of the but that dms exists only on the rig. o it is not transmitted off the rig, so the bms system along with the log would have gone down with the vessel. >> you have t no backup data the theice so that information is recorded at some other vocation than on on the rig itself?is >> we do not have real-time off rick monitoring of what is going on on the vessel. >> do think that is a failure in the failsafe system that is arrently used within the industry to help understand the events of a catastrophe like this and learn from it?
because the decisions regarding continuation of the drilling's operationsca suspension of the e operations are typically taken site, the first plaince we want those alarms tht the rig site. ala >> you are aware that technologa exists. every t day of businesses all or the country where sin is a bitas of information is recorded at a central location it can be immediately recorded at a distance sbit site just to avois type of catastrophe from r preventing that information from peing lostorde forever. speier i am aware of that technology existing and in fact the reason we have the records you are showing us now is we vee that technology was employed on this particular y operation.ou >> for this function we are seeing on this chart but not t have describedou in your testimony? >> not a real-time replication of the alarm log.a>> not >> are right, thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. what would have led to the
discrepancy between the blowout protector and the plants are the diagrams of the blowoutut protector or the differences? and if in fact there was a difference, was it a factor in not this well could have been capped immediately? >> congressman do you mock me tc respond to that?apcongss >> please. we y were first aware of those changes when we were in the crisis room with bp, when wese were trying to function the blowoutan preventer. but honestly, we do not know t whether those would have anyent. impact on whether the bop wouldw function in the circumstances io was put in. we just don't have enough information yet to know theircus answer to that. >> thanknc you. how long haveus the horizon been operating? >> the deepwater horizon rig and >>rvice in 2002.
>> has been operating safely for cegood while? to surfa >> the horizon has drilled o approximately 72 wells over that eight year history. floor at about 5000 feet, which is approximately ahi mile, you abo continue downut another 13,000 feet, another 2.5 miles to the reservoir? is that accurate?wn a >> that is the accident-- accurate description of the welt geometry. >> this w rig is have a safety s record in a sense as far as its ability to drill and recovered natural resources? is that fair? >> that is a fair sussman congressman and the deepwater horizon rig a seven year history withs, i no lost time accident n deepwater horizon rig in his had past said they record for deep water a operations for as. semisubmersible in the deepwater horizonth rig holds the record r the deepest well drilled in theo industry. >> we have got a piece of engineering that has been fairly
successful. as we hear testimony and questions about what red flags went up, as a gentleman referred to, oxygen saturation, over a period of years, the safety mechanisms and the correction mechanisms on this piece of equipment or this well have been tried and found to cases.essful in most and i guess my question or my statement would be that there is probably going to be a series of facts that all came together at a certain time that led to this tragedy, and we of course are well aware of how things can happen after-the-fact and we can.fingers and goodnesshe gracious, america has lived through 9/11 to go back over all the things we could've done to keep that froms happening.
things seem to have happened all at a opportune time in the stars lined up. we are really interested in your future as far as drilling is and concerned. what is being done on other wells around the nationt internationally to doublecheck andng see if all of our proper safeguards are in place?n >> mr. mckay? >> i can say in our international rig fleet, we have notified and increase the scrutiny and on the blowout preventer's we have incrementally added some testing to it to makeruti sure the rov n board in the ships will be able to activate the blowout preventer should they need to.n we have given ideas to the mms about what could be considered to enhance atua least preparatin and testing around these things.
>> and the reservoir that you are tapping into, the dynamics, the hydraulic in the fluid dynamics of that reservoir, do those change significantly overd time as pressures change or is that pretty well a known and constant fact or is it a variable on a day-to-day basis?y >> on this particular reservoir? we don't have much data on it. generally reservoirs are different at different depths and different pressures are you in can encounter them inervoirs different ways. the characteristics of thisent reservoirs difficult because we don't have measurements in terms of pressure but it looked to be, just so everyone understands, it particularly difficult well and sets up its pressure, a very much overpressure dwell.ts >> thank you fisher chairman and i will yield back my time. >> thank you. missed to get for questions.
>> thank you very much mr. chairman. mr. probert i was a little mr. curious listening to your opening statement that you felt compelled to respond to my opening statement when i talked about the mms study that nearly half of our blowouts in the gulf since 1992 were due to faulty cementing. the good news is that is only one of those concerned-- incidents occurred in water over 1200 feet. first a of all, how many of the wells drilled in the gulf over this period were doubts over 400 feet? an provide some clarityr to that. >> i would like a short answer please. how many wells were over 400 feet? >> i don't have the data. the data is available from the mms. >> wasn't more of them are less of them? was welve it any of them are a i them? >> i do not t know. >> you do not know.sorr are you saying that since there was only one blowout incidentso. at deaths of over 400 feet, you
think that there is no risk fort cementing for deep water drilling? >> no, i think what i was trying to point out, because theat subject of a study here clearly is the deep water gulf of inxico, trying to apply a reference.for the committee wits respect to the data, which the mms has provided to us. >> so what you are saying is you are not-- you are saying that there still could be a risk, san that is not just because it is a were foreign to be, right? you are saying that there still could be faulty cementing over 400 feet? >> i am simply.>> >> yes or no. >> no. >> thank you. are you arguing that cementing is actually safer at offshore wells with depths over 400 feet? >> i did nott understand yourwe question.wi >> are you arguing that cementing is actually safer at offshore wellser with doubts ovr 400 feet?uing
>> i would say the information would suggest that, yes. >> it is safer? >> according to the statistics,i yes, from the mms.ng to th >> because there have been few weeks? >> now, is a function of the andh depth of the water what causes them how the well o construction takes place between deep water and shallow water. >> okay. so, you don't think we should then worry about thellow cementn the deeper one? >> that is not what iou said.th >> okay. i do agree with you on one point in the point i agree with you on is there are very few accidents and that is the good news, but is that if there is an accident, in this case, if there is faulty cement, if there are other problems, then the results of that are catastrophic would you not agree with that? yes or no?t
>> to the extent cementing was an issue, if you are referring to thishe particular incident. >> would you agree that there is a week the catastrophic results are such that we-- that even though there are few accidents we should try to avoid those? tg yes or no. >> i do not agree with yourth assertion.osno? >> you don't agree with that so it is a risk we should be willing to take? >> i am sorry, you will have to restate your question. >> let me move on them.t you said that both positive and negative drescher tests were conducted on the cementing in wr your testimony. several experts have stated that a cement-- might have additional dweaknesses.have the cement had not harden properly, so i want to ask youca was thete cement bonds log tech conducted at this well, yes or no? wa knowledge,. themypr >> yes or no. >> to the best of my knowledge-
he did not requested. bes >> is it true that a cement bond log would provide assurance of the integrity of the cement bond? >> the cement on blog is certainly the only realistic way of assessing the bond. >> so that answer would ds, correct? >> right. >> mr. mckay, is it bp's, standard practice to only usebps standard pressure test to cement job? >> i cannot speak directly to this particular well.an't spe >> i asked you your standard practice.>> d is itid bp's standard practice o only use basic pressure y test s evaluate a cement job?ta >> i believe every wells engineered individually so i can't answer a standard practice. >> your answer is you don't no? >> can i check? i >> absolutely and mr. chairman
if he could supplement his answer i would appreciate>> tha. >> cement bond blogs are not required on every well. they are utilized when there'sdg an indication of as problem. >> whited bp not pay for a bond log test on this well?g test >> because, the better way to test-- it is not an actual test of a bond. >> thank you very much. >> thank you i mr. degette. ms. sutton for questions.bond. >> thank you mr. chairman and i have a lot of questions so please stick to the question and if not, you don't know the q answer just say i don't know if people moveck on. what was bp's operating budget l in 2009? >> operating budgets, where? worldwide? >> sure, worldwide. >> we spent about $20 billion in
investments in capital. >> and what percentage of the 2009 budget was devoted to safety and preventative measures related to deep water spills?ce do you no? >> i i don't know.sure >> okay. how does he-- how much does bp invest in--.sear and >> i don't have a number of. >> how many deep water wells does bp operate in the gulf? >> i don't know the number of wells. there are quite a few. >> quite a few is a very safe a term. >> can i give you an indicatione there've beenrm several thousand deep water wellsca drilled in ta world and we have been about 30s of them.nd >> hominy on the outer continental shelf? do you have a better idea of oem. >> how many of those deep water wells are operated by platformso with transocean?by >> currently we have three lse transocean rigs working.transo
>> what actions have been taking currently to ensure that this is not a systematic failure amber garcia operation of the actionst platforms in a similar situation?hi the >> what we have done this as i s said earlier, we have instituted some tests from blowout w preventer xan asper re-modification that may have been made in the history ofed se an blowout preventer. >> o. testing and asking about modification. that is the sum total.ter. okay, what is your response capability on the outer continental shelf? rpo i know we have heard a little discussion about this. >> we have 300,000-- 300 vessels were still response operating. we have 2.4 million being staged or accessed around the coast any we have a supply chain being std ramped up to be able to sustainably supplied two toe 300,000 a week. >> what blowout safety devices do have you have on the oil rig> in the lower see?
>> i've not worked in lower seeing a nor long time but simir blowout preventer's where thethg water, depth and condition are utilized in the north sea. >> when you say similar that is different than the way i understand it so i would like clarification because my question would be why don't we use the same thing in the gulf?u so, when you clarify that for me.me t and what is your contingency plan for theseng wells in the depth of the water, if the death of water causes-- depth of the water. we have heard a lotater about ts that are required. >> we have a spill response plan that is filed with the government and it sits underneath the national plan in and the one continlanned that indicates the equipment that is rumba gulf coast to be utilized in the gl priorities of the organizational structure utilized. that is form the foundation of this and it was approved lastas june in 2009. >> will bp now keep coffer dams
on the coast of all of theiroka. platforms to increase the response time in the face of ll a. >> as we have learned r a lesson from this i do think there will be subsea intervention capability that will be neat need to be looked at. >> bps david and i think you did hear today that he will pay for all legitimateat fours claims rg from this though. what does bp define as a legitimate claim? >> we have been very clear that we will pay for all of the legitimate claims. gigitimate claims are businesses are folks that are impacted and there's a substantiation of impact and that is a legitimaten claim. loss ofthat include the profits for fishing and tourisms >> yes.yes. >> will bp commit to exempting itself from any cap on their financial responsibility for damages resulting from this bill? itlfap o >> yes. >> bps data that they are very positive that their relief wells will worke . do you concur? >> we are confident they willpol
work . concur >> how many times did it take for the release wells drilled in montera stuart? aem >> i'm not familiarpt with the details of that. multiple. i >> for i believe. does bp expect to have the same difficulty and delays in drilling their relief well? we have the capacity towell sidetrack these wells in their setup to have to have multipleoe attempts. the wel .. o have multiple attemp
the first man to walk on the moon, neil armstrong and the last man eugene told congress that the administration plans for the space program or what they called a mission to know where. they spoke at a senate hearing on the future of human space flight that began with testimony from the head of nasa and office of science and technology policy. the entire hearing is three hours. former restaurants comments come in the second panel in a little less than two hours. [inaudible conversations] >> this hearing will come to order. a word space program is clearly at a turning point, and earlier
this year the obama administration chartered a new course the to the been working on for a long time. and i know there is a lot of uncertainty and a disagreement and all kind of things about that. particularly when it comes to propose plans for human space flight. this hearing is an important opportunity to take a close look at those plans and others. i said before in this committee and i would address it directly with of the administrator rowland the during his confirmation i believe for my personal point of view we need a new direction. to many including myself, defenders of the status quo for nasa be there many or few seem to justify the view solely based on job impact. i don't think we can afford to do that. jobs in west virginia are
subject number one, two, three, four, five, six and seven and always will be. this is a national, international program we are talking about. i think we have to strike a balance between economic development which means jobs and modernizing the space program so we can remain competitive for gears to come. nasa's first mission must be to do what is best for the nation's. the american people deserve the most in the space program. nasa's world cannot stay static. the president has challenged the united states government to seek greater international collaboration, aníbal commercial services, developer exploration technologies and on top of that, i would include vastly expanded research. you are doing something up there right now that kills paulson
said thousands of people every year in this country and that's the kind of medical research, brought research, technical research, engineering research, all kinds of research. no better place to do a. and a degree of to develop new exploration technologies. so these are good priorities and should help ensure in tough fiscal times we build the space future in a measure and relevant and innovative and sustainable way. and this is not bring to b.c.. one reason it isn't going to be easy is because we are under a more or less flat line but most americans don't know that. i think most of them would welcome it if they did know it, but those of us who work in government and want to push programs for word that is hard to swallow. that does not affect the defense department or intelligence community. it affects only part of the
veteran community. but nasa's budget of $18 billion may be a high water mark. we don't know what the soft freeze means. it may be a high water mark for years to come so we have to live with that and make the most of it. we cannot assume the agency will have unlimited resources for every mission that it wants to undertake therefore we have to make hard choices. today i look forward to taking a robust evaluation of the agency planned for human space flight. but more than that we have to measure and shape of the goals against the greater national priorities for the years and decades ahead. i really feel strongly about that. nasa's research and aeronautics help create global leadership in aviation. we need scientific minds to be involved solving today's and tomorrow's challenges and energy and medical research, robotics.
i've talked about these things and i really mean then. in addition we need to understand how we will support our work force and protect our industrial base and ensure our national security and strengthen international relationships and we have to examine how we use human spaceflight as an important role of smart power exemplified by the international space and u.s. participation. so, efforts like this can build stability. they can ensure global access to space and help us move forward towards greater chance to renzi as we establish the rules of the road which is what i think we are here to do. i know the focus today is specifically on the human space flight. i recognize that. but i do not want anybody to forget the agency's broad
priorities, which include exploration, science, economics, education technology, research of any and all kinds. these are the foundations of the future. they are known as important and i hope the agency finds that balance and moves forward again. i also hope they will increase our focus on the tashi nasa's space flight efforts to benefits in these areas. i want to thank all of the witnesses today including those who were followed before now extremely distinguished americans including mr. neil armstrong, commander of apollo 11 and eugene cernan, commander of apollo 17. we thank them for their service. in the past i should say in ending i have been critical of
nasa's financial and program management. i am still that way as we move towards reauthorization i firmly believe this committee has a huge oversight role to play. nasa cannot continued on the same path and that judgment. i turn now to my distinguished partner, senator kay bailey hutchison. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm very pleased we have this hearing because i have been alarmed at the plans that have been put forward not the goal of the plans i agree with the goal. we should utilize safe science research that cannot be done as well in gravity conditions on earth and we need to be bold in exploring space so that we maintain our superiority in space exploration.
i appreciate all vigorously the two of you. general holdren, you have a distinguished career and are the at the minister and dr. holdren from the white house council of science and technology policy and i am very pleased, mr. chairman we do have the first man who walked on the moon and the last man who walked on the moon in the second panel, neil armstrong and eugene cernan along with augustine taxed with the president to come up with options that would save nasa, space exploration and putting humans in space. i find serious flaw in the area where detailed information has been provided by the president's administration. there are good reasons to have reservations about a proposal the discards billions of dollars of important technology and engineering advancement paid for by american taxpayers and puts
us on a course that relies on a still developing commercial market to fill a role carried on for more than five decades. the legacy of leadership and space took on the line and we need to have a credible plan to take the next step forward enhancing investment of the last four decades. we will get to mars by building upon existing cable the infrastructure premier investment and will to become work force in the world. we do not have a presidential commission to manage the transition of the workers to other jobs or other places. and we need a plan that preserves their extraordinary talent and challenges them to work on new goals and technology to build a bridge for where we are to where we want to be. anything in the president's proposal made by the potential development of new technology or the emergence of a customer
based beyond nasa to support a commercial space industry is another source of point of potential mid program chillier that could undermine our human space flight capability. we must leverage our capability and work force to reach the goal. that is why for me the discussion begins with the international space station which underpins the reason to send humans into space and in short midterm while we work on the new technology to take us deeper into space. flying out the program on the current schedule before the analysis of international space station equipment that will need to be done it to extend the life of the shuttle for 2015 to 2020 is a risk. it is particularly risky when there is a potential need that haven't been met against the existing or anticipated the case
but will provide the only means to bring the cargo to the station in the world without the space shuttle. i've proposed stretching out the remaining missions over the next two years ending the launch on the flight as an actual flight with available cargo capability. that would allow for the analysis and planning we must have to minimize the risk to the iss, international space station and bridge the gap that has been a concern of mine and also senator nelson since it was first proposed four or five years ago. this is station provides a reason for current space flight and offers almost the entire business case for many of the emerging commercial space companies in the short run. safety has been asserted is a reason to stop the shuttle this year. but first i am not proposing that we add more just spread
them out over a longer period of time, two years. second item of x of target and that the vehicles are engineers have never had complete access to certification is safer than the space shuttle to carry the astronauts to and from the station. it is time to have an honest conversation about the space shuttle and its importance to the short-term capabilities. i am hopeful dr. holdren and general bolden can answer questions on behalf of the administration including have we taken every step possible to reduce the risks to the space station? how will the technology and engineering advances from $9 billion of investment and constellation program be leveraged and utilized if the program is discontinued? why ignore the options laid out in the augustine committee report and why wait until 2015 for the selection of heavy lift
vehicle design? what will happen if we do not have a nasa ellen they had managed capability like constellation or some iteration of constellation and profit printers struggle with cost overruns and ultimately fail? will american taxpayers have to build the company's? what observation what we have at that point except to continue paying whatever it takes to build the vehicles because the nasa capability has been dismantled. why not reform nasa's contract and practices rather than putting all of our emphasis on the developing commercial sector that may not be able to deliver. mr. chairman those are a few of my questions between the proposal i had advanced, the faults of other members and the recommendations in the augustine report there are many ideas about how to reach a bold goals. american exceptionally some demands that we do better in the proposal but has been put
forward that doesn't have the plans to implement it in a safe and secure way. mr. president, i mean mr. chairman, i would just say i think ready to work with the administration. i would like for this administration to have the legacy of continuing our preeminent. i do not think the proposal but has been put forward will do that but i certainly would like to work in a bipartisan and certainly collegial way to achieve a goal that i think is the same as the president's bill i do not think he is putting forward a plan to achieve the goal and i want to help put that together so that we will spend our taxpayers' dollars wisely. we will not throw away the billions already spent so the space station which now has eight contracts waiting to go of through the nih and department
of agriculture to utilize the space station. there will be more if we know there is availability of the space station with a shuttle that we can control and no that there is a gap that will be a short gap, not five, eight, possibly to in your gap as we have new fledgling commercial lead to the that attempted to do things that have already been tried and proven or not proven in the nasa history. so mr. chairman i do think he for the hearing and hope it leads us to a better consensus that we can work together toward their shared goal. thank you. >> thank you. i now call on the subcommittee chair and that is senator nelson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, there is a great deal that is riding on the hearing today because we are
preparing the way for us than to start the markup in the subcommittee of the author listened legislation and this is being done in the midst of a great deal of uncertainty about the future not nasa. we are very fortunate to have the witness is that we have at the table who clearly got to give some direction and we are very fortunate to have the three that will follow on the next panel. this is such an important hearing because there are people all across the country including this extraordinary family called the nasa family that has spaceflight in their jeans that are looking to us to exercise our legislative and appropriations functions in
helping the president and the executive branch chart the course of where america's human space flight program is going from here. there are a lot of us that what given a lot of advice to the president and i think in large part is speech this kennedy space center reflected that we asked to consider strong vision statement in fact we specifically said a vision of going to mars and he did that. we asked that he considered not the cancellation of the constellation program but the restructuring of it and in fact we wanted to have the capability of getting flexibility in the
future and we receive that from his statement. we asked for the extension of the international space station's life instead of it being cut off in 2015 which it was previously going to do. we just are completing it now as 2010. and obviously you don't want to shed it off for years on the road and we received that commitment from the president some of us ask that since there is the hard line all ready for an additional shuttle flight we ask that we consider that and although he didn't announce that in his speech at the kennedy space center it is my hope that that is under consideration and the white house and nasa at this
point. we also asked the president for the completion, safe completion of the current space shuttle manifest even if it has to be flown in next year and the increases in funding for the other critical parts of nasa's budget including science and aeronautics and earth observation and break through research and development and he has proposed that. but the authorizing and appropriating committees continue to review the president's proposal we here in the legislative branch are going to try to continue to work with the administration to refine his
plan and change some parts of that and it is in that spirit we come here today to take a deep look into the detailed proposal and specifically some of us are going to explore how the plan relates to the national priorities such as education and innovation and security, the implications of the plan including the impact on the national security, the work force, the industrial base and our international posture. and we are going to look at the plan's overall integration in quitting the schedule and the cost. and so then we are going to be looking, mr. sherman, the president's proposal to make a decision on the heavy lift the legal solution of which he said is as sleek as 2015. we would like to speed that up.
we want to establish the rationale of such a proposal and where the benefits and the challenges lie. thank you. >> thank you, senator nelson. i was going to call on you but i should call on senator vitter because he is ranking on the subcommittee. >> thank you, mr. chairman for this hearing. it is a very important hearing. i agree with my colleague on the subcommittee. and the stakes are very high.ccb i will submit my full opening statement for the record. c s!cc it underscores what i said veryb clearly before that i am extremely concerned by this plan and budget submission for nasa by the administration. and i think it is should be very concerning to the entire space community and the american people. my fundamental concerns are number one, i am convinced it will absolutely relinquish our
leadership role in human space flight certainly for our lifetimes maybe longer if we followed on the proposed path. number two, i repeat senator hutchinson's comments i think complete reliance on the commercial sector for a capability that there is no evidence that can supply in the near term is a bad idea because there is absolutely no evidence that sector alone can supply this capability in the near term. i want to support that sector and see that capability grow but not put all of our eggs in that basket on that long bet. and number three, i think that we would be in the process if we adopt the plan of fundamentally changing nasa and making it a
research institution almost solely. mr. chairman, you mentioned the broad category of nasa missions and we should remember all of them but we should start with the core mission which is exploration and human space flight and i really think this proposal is forgetting to a large extent about the absolute record central mission and putting too much emphasis on other ancillary missions. i welcome all of the panels. certainly these distinguished gentlemen and the second panel but mr. chairman i would make one suggestion which is i think the original idea is to have the other three panelists go first so we can get into more of a conversation and get more reaction from the administration officials to air very compelling
testimony in my opinion. we've heard from the administration before several times about the new vision about the budget submission and i'm happy to hear from them again that it would be far more productive of real discussions and new ideas to have the other three panelists go first to have the administration listen and have all of us respond to that so that would be my suggestion to the chair. i welcome that, and should you become chairman one day you can arrange that. [laughter] senator mueller, but on backend pryor, if you can try to end my favorite governor senator john. if you could keep your remarks to about three minutes. >> thank you, ranking member which is in for holding the stick to the general bolden and
holdren thank you. i want to work in a collegial way if the had been a station in order to ensure we continue our leadership role in space but i cannot take as optimistic of a view of the president's plan. for nearly 50 years we've been the undisputed leader in space exploration. the proposal by the at a demonstration to what i would call kill the constellation program is areas one and areas five rockets and 200 rollin infield allin to the speculatively called will be in a word devastating. that isn't my word, that is the word used by the commander of apollo 11, 13 and 17. it's going to be devastating for three main reasons. one, the determination of the shuttle we will be for the first time in nearly 50 years for a period of years unable to go into the low earth orbit and put ourselves at the mercy of the russians. second, we are going to dismantle a world-class work force that will be virtually if
not completely impossible to reconstitute. third we are going to relinquish status as leaders and pioneers in space exploration. i do not look forward to the day i will explain to my children by the chinese are putting their flag on the moon over hours. we've spent nearly $10 billion, $10 billion on the constellation program. and while it isn't a perfect project, it is the wall of the land. and mr. chairman i think it is worth noting that congress has been clear in every authorizing the program twice in 2005 and in 2008 with a democratically controlled congress and republican controlled congress. additional language was specifically included in the 2010 omnibus appropriations bill prohibiting the cancellation of the constellation program and one thing i look forward to discussing in the questions is letters and documents i've received about programs within the constellation already been canceled. to date no laws have changed and
congress hasn't taken action to enact the changes proposed by the administration. we read in "the wall street journal" even today about the programs being canceled. my view is we need to stay on course with american human space exploration. we need as my colleagues have suggested to extend the shuttle to ensure the u.s. has access to space. we need to expedite the completion of the aeries rocket to ensure access to a low earth orbit and international space stations and finally we need to expedite the development of a heavy lift vehicle and not wait as my colleagues said until 2015. the united states leads the world in space exploration. it's one of the nation's qualities that has been admired around the world. we cannot and should not see to the other countries. if we fail to act now the president and this administration will be remembered for killing america's leadership in space exploration and to me, mr. sherman, that is not acceptable.
thank you. >> thank you. that was absolutely perfect timing. senator brownback. >> thanks, mr. chairman. it is certainly a strong supporter of nasa. chair of the subcommittee some years ago. this is a great topic and three timely that you're putting this together. i look forward to working with you and other members on the space program and these issues. i am a strong supporter of nasa and the commercial space industry and have a steadfast believe the united states needs a vision for the u.s. space program. i've been a proponent of phasing out the space shuttle and to use the resources for alternative deep space ventures and cutting edge research. with the impending retirement nasa is not assuming a much different role than in the past and i think there is great opportunity to have a space program that leads the world that will be a space program as embedded in opportunity for all. by opening up the commercial
space ensures a strong future for the u.s. and the competitive aerospace industry. mr. sherman you have assembled an exceptional panel of experts. i met with mr. augustine two weeks ago. you couldn't get a better guide to talk about this that can ever ground a long period of time and sees the realities we are in right now. as you mentioned we tight budgetary atmosphere and we've got to be able to set our goals and dreams and the saunier within that and i think what he sees is we need to be able to integrate commercial space into doing things into orbit and then nasa can move on from that point. there's a lot of room for discussion and it is an important discussion to have to move forward as a space faring nation and as a nation that needs in space. we can do it but i think it is we do have to be under a different design than what we have been going and i look forward to the discussion of
that design. thank you, mr. chairman. thank you. senator joe johann. >> like most americans, i grew up with a tremendous amount of admiration for neil armstrong. i thought this man and the astronauts were just enormously courageous individuals. therefore, you can only imagine that i would get his testimony a great deal of weight as i think about this hearing and prepare for eight. early on in his testimony, he said something that to me was very compelling and concerning. he said with regard to president obama's 2010 plan i have yet to find a person in nasa, national
academics industry that had knowledge of the plan prior to the announcement. rumors abound that meter the nasa ad industry or the president's science and technology adviser or knowledgeable about the plan. lack of review normally guarantees there will be overlooked requirements on the consequences. how could such a chain of defense had been, a plan that was invisible to so many was likely contrived by a very small group in secret who persuaded the president that this was a unique opportunity to put his stamp on the new and innovative program? i believe the president was poorly advised. if in fact that is the way that this was brought about that is enormously concerning where does this come from is the question that i have to ask.
so, it's not only the concern expressed by senator lemieux and others what is happening, if this method and the manner why we got there. once again, it appears complete lack of transparency and the administration and there is just too much of that. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator pryor. >> mr. chairman i want to thank you for having this hearing senator hutchinson and your leadership on this and i have to acknowledge senator bill nelson is without peer when it comes to looking after nasa's interest and making sure that the various missions of nasa are functioning properly and getting the proper attention here in the congress. mr. chairman i only would have
two questions for the panel when they have a chance to answer and that would be first what is the safest and most economical launch vehicle for restoring nasa's capability to fly a low earth orbit and the international space station and second is what our nasa's plants budget and schedule for developing and testing a heavy lift launch system? i think that the space flight program is at a crossroads and i certainly would look forward to working through this issue with members of the committee and nasa. thank you. >> thank you. and now dr. holdren, i am very honored to ask you to give your testimony. you're the director of office and science technology policy and have been helpful to me on energy matters and many other ways and i think you are a terrific appointment and after that, mr. bolden, i will
introduce you. >> chairman rockefeller, hutcheson and members of the committee i certainly am happy to be here today to talk about the administration's strategy for human space exploration activities. i want to be clear at the outset this administration is steadfast in its commitment to space exploration and to the mission of nasa. the president and i recognize space exploration plays a vital role for the nation in advancing scientific discovery, stimulating technological innovation enhancing our economic strength expanding our horizons inspiring the public and especially our kids about the potential of science and technology and maintaining u.s. leadership internationally. but among the challenges that face this administration when it came to office with the technical and budgetary difficulties of the u.s. human space flight program constellation that we have inherited. to assess the problem nasa stood
up the most open and transparent and participatory federal advisory committee activity relating to space that has ever been undertaken the committee to review the temmins space flight plans. as you know the committee concluded through that process that the constellation program had become, quote, on executable under any plausible set of assumptions about costs and budget's going forward. the victim of the mismatch between plans and available resources exacerbated by decades of under investment new technology and innovation at nasa. and persisting in the pursuit of the increasingly costly program while nonetheless failing to meet its objectives will have the further liability of continuing to shortchange nasa's other activities including as you have mentioned robotic missions, space telescope's, earth observation and aeronautics. it clearly was time to push the
reset button. accordingly, the decision support process engaging nasa and the white house was initiated to flush out a set of options drawn on the augustine committee findings and aiming to maximize the level of exploration and achievement attainable under the realistic budgets for the president's consideration. the result was a set of proposals for nasa's activities and budget rolled out as a part of the president's fy 2011 budget request on february 1st and a letter dated as a senator nelson has mentioned in the president's speech at the kennedy space center on april 15th. the key elements in the had fenestration this new strategy for maintaining and expanding u.s. leadership in human space exploration deserve i think at least brief recapitulation here. we want to extend the life of the international space station to at least 2020. in doing so driven significantly increased benefits in science
and technology demonstrations providing a locus and focus for increased u.s. astronaut presence in space over the decade ahead and maintaining the voluble international partnership that the international space station represents. we want to catalyze the development of and then utilize commercially provided crew and cargo transportation services to the international space station, resulting in what we believe will be more timely and cost-effective. united states capabilities for that purpose than the previous program would have provided. we want to increase nasa's investment in transfer the technology that can expand the reach and reduce the cost of human exploration of deep space. beginning in this way to reverse decades of under attention to that critical need. and we want to pursue a series of increasingly demanding human exploration missions including the mission to an asteroid by 2025 and orbital mars mission in the mid 20s 30's demonstrating
the key capabilities for a leader mars landing while achieving historic firsts in exploration and discovery. i want to add a word about workforce issues. there are some near-term job losses in store largely as a result of the retirement of the aging space shuttle fleet and early 2011. but that isn't a new problem. the decision to retire the shuttle and the time frame was made and 2004 by the previous administration. based in part on the findings of the columbia investigation board and in part on the need to develop less costly as well as safer technology to get our astronauts into orbit. a dilemma in the area of limited budget is not the high cost of operating the shuttle consumes the money that would be needed to develop its success. the administration recognizes the pain and hardship of job loss in the communities affected and we are taking a number of steps to reduce the impact spirited the promotion of the
expanded commercial space launch industry will create new jobs and other places affected by the national job losses as well as $3 billion that will go into the new r&d on the heavy lift rockets in this program and additional billions in other new technologies. we think it is likely given the additional spending in the new plan that the magnitude of the shuttle related job losses will be smaller and their duration shorter under the new plan than under the old one. but they will still be a real. there for further steps are being taken by the administration to mitigate those losses including the initiative for the regional economic growth and job creation along the space coast that the president announced on april 15th. in closing let me say that the president and i appreciate the committee's interest in and support for the u.s. human space flight program and the other important missions of nasa. we are convinced the new plan is the best way forward and optimistic we can get it done.
i look forward to working with you and others in the congress and to that and i would be happy of course to respond to your questions. thank you. >> thank you. and now the administrator of nasa, mr. charles bolden, jr., who in fact a little over 24 years ago flu in one, senator bill nelson, the floor is yours, sir. >> mr. chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today for additional information about the president's fiscal year 2011 budget request for nasa. following the president's important speech at the nasa kennedy space center in florida. nasa is grateful for the support and guidance received from this committee through the years and look forward to working with you to implement the president's bold new direction for the agency. given that you have my detailed written statement i will try to keep my remarks very brief this afternoon so that i have time for questions. but first i would like to acknowledge the incredible contributions of my to astronaut
colleagues, norm augustine will be on the second panel. both kneal and gina, first and last humans to set foot on the moon have dedicated their lives to the challenging often unforgiving pursuit of space exploration and in doing so improved the quality-of-life in america and inspired the next generation. and they continue to contribute by remaining engaged and providing their remarks on today's important topic of the future of human space flight. i appreciate their thoughts and ideas and it is very beneficial to have had the opportunity to discuss their concerns over the past three weeks and to present them with the faeroe briefing on the plans for america's future in human space flight and exploration in a two-hour briefing last week and attempt to release some of their concerns. however, reasonable people can disagree and so i must respectfully disagree with some of the remarks from the first panel in their prepared remarks.
the president's fiscal year 2011 budget request is good for nasa because it sets the agency on a sustainable path that is in our nation's interest. during his visit, the president or ticketed a strong commitment to nasa's mission and future of u.s. human spaceflight exploration. the president also outlined an ambitious effort to foster the development of groundbreaking technology, increasing the numbers, scope and the pace of manned and unmanned space missions, make him and space flight safer and more efficient and help create thousands of new jobs. the president has laid out the goals and the strategies for this edition which includes a sequence of deep space destinations for human missions progressing step by step for the test flights early in the decade of the vehicles capable of supporting exploration beyond low earth orbit as commissions to and astrid by 2025 and his mission to orbit mars and return
safely to earth by the mid 2013 s. with respect to the role of heavy let in the future of human spaceflight architecture, the fiscal year 2011 budget request includes funds for nasa to conduct and for research and to let and analysis necessary to make an informed decision on a heavy lift launch vehicle no later than 2015. on may 3rd nasa issued a request for information seeking general information regarding potential launch or space transportation architecture that will be used for planning and acquisition strategy development for the current heavy lift planning activities. regarding the plan for the restructured the president directed me that nasa build on the work already completed on the golan in a capsule and focus the efforts to provide a simple more efficient is the design that would provide a skate from the space station and serve as the technical foundation for advanced spacecraft to be used in future deep space mission.
this approach also will preserve a number of critical high-tech industry jobs and disciplines needed for the future deep space exploration program. we have put together a formulation team including headquarters and personnel to develop a baseline approach that meets these requirements balanced with other priorities proposed in the president's 2011 budget request. this team will report to me within three weeks on how best to meet the requirements. dr. holdren all the talk about the work force initiative so i won't cover that but i will say the task force in june that i co-chair with the secretary of commerce will also explore future work force and economic development activities that could be undertaken for aerospace communities and other states as appropriate and we hold the first meeting of that task force this morning. nasa expects to submit a revised 2011 budget request to congress in the near future the will identify funding requirements for the restructured oelwein and
crew capsule as well as requirements for the work force transition. finally, regarding the international space station for all in furthering the research technology and innovation. the orbiting lab represents a unique capability which the united states and partner nations can use to conduct a wide variety of research and biology, chemistry, physics and engineering fields that will help us better understand how to keep astronauts healthy and productive on the long duration space missions. iss can and will play a role in the technology demonstrations and engineering research associate with exploration. tester chairman, in conclusion, americans and people worldwide have turned to nasa for inspiration through history. our work gives people the opportunity to imagine what is possible and we at nasa get to turn the dreams into achievements for all humankind. this budget gives nasa a road map to even more historical
achievement as it spurs innovation come employs americans fulfilling jobs and engages people would not the world as we enter an exciting era in space. i think you again for your support and that of this committee. i would be pleased to respond to any questions you or other members of the committee may have. >> thank you very much. director holdren. i will ask the questions i hope each of you will answer. a variety of priorities have been suggested and i suggested in my opening statement what was what we did is not always by definition doesn't have to be what we always continue to do. i did, however, heavily mention human space flight. but dr. holdren, and then start with you, mr. administrator, how would you list if you were looking at the future the budget
requirements and the need of the nation and the world, the priorities of nasa? >> mr. chairman, as i have already indicated, i think that nasa has a number of import responsibilities and areas of activity and we have to figure out within the constraints of the limited budget how to edit and all of the most important ones. clearly, human space exploration is an important element for the reasons i mentioned at the beginning of my testimony and for others we could elaborate. it has been and will continue to be an inspiration to every new generation of american young people bringing more of them into science, math and engineering, strengthening the economy, enabling us to address a wide variety of other issues and it is very important to the most fundamental of human drives which is to understand and explore the universe around it. so at the same time we have to
maintain the earth observation activities of nasa. we have to maintain the aeronautics activities of nasa include in next to the contributions to the air traffic control system to the green aviation and more. we have to maintain the contributions of nasa to the mullen human exploration in the sense of the space telescope and the sense of robotic missions. it is not possible to say we can dispense with any of these and i believe under the president's plan we can indeed nurture all of them in ways that will move us forward as a society. >> so, if i am talking about medical and scientific and other kinds of research those would fall somewhere below? >> no, talking about research, we need to do more research and understand our place in the universe. we need to do more fundamental science using the capabilities of nasa and we need to use the capabilities of nasa to do more
advanced development some of which will be useful directly in the exploration program and much of which will spin off into immensely valuable economic conditions across our society. what i'm saying is we need to maintain of the major functions in nasa and i am saying that we believe we can do it with the budget the president proposed for fy 11 and going forward. >> thank you. mr. chairman,i ron ackley i woke up early this morning and i went on line and i listened to the white house tapes from november 21st, 1962, and was a heated discussion between president john kennedy and nasa administrator james webb who was a marina and a pilot. i didn't know that until this morning. but the discussion was about the question you just asked and president kennedy asked the administrator web the lunar landing the top priority for
nasa, an administrator webb said know it's science, technology development, and for quite some time they went back and forth are doing about. it's easy for me to answer the question top priority for nasa in my estimation is human spaceflight development and pushing us beyond the bond of the low earth orbit. everything else is second. and it's only through the execution of the human space flight that we can open up the avenues of making it available to do research and development. it is the desire to go to places like mars that will draw on people, companies run the company, academia if we can get them the money to defend the capabilities that will allow us to go places like that. short of wanting to send humans beyond the low earth orbit we have a number of other federal agencies that can do my job. so that is a personal -- to last
me a personal question and i give you a personal opinion. >> i appreciate it and think you. senator hutchinson. >> thank you. i listened to both of you and you have focused on the science and going beyond the low earth orbit as the priorities and i agree with you. in fact, general bolden, in your testimony come to talk about the use of the space station but you talk about what we can learn to make it healthier and better for astronauts and others to go into space which i think is important, but there is also the vast field medical technology that we have already gained immensely from space exploration and there's more that is going on right now. nasa and nih have a memorandum
of understanding. the diagnosis of heart, blood, long and disease, cell and organ as an aging reducing the be the limit of new biomedical edging the the eckert imaging and microgravity conditions. the space station is a key component of the research dr. holdren, your championing and i know general bolden, you also say it is part of your focus and yet we can't have a space station that will be productive but will be stable that we can be sure what fulfill the 100 billion-dollar investment that's already been made in that vehicle without the assurance we are to get people out there that we can have the cargo that might be needed in
the later years because it has been extended. but i come back to the question if you don't look at the stable source if you're getting people there how can you say that the science is going to be or the mission and the goal of science and productivity is going to be achieved? that's my concern. if the soyuz is out of pocket or they raised their rates because it is the only means we have so it that it is so prohibitive and we could be cleaning the same money in our alana capabilities and we learn from that much more than just states on the soyuz, or if we have blow up in the commercial companies we are not able to fulfill the contract,
they are on tested, you are putting all of our dreams and hopes and taxpayer dollars into the commercial and investment. what are you going to do if there are overruns which there already are? are you intending to have the taxpayers then have no choice but to go forward and spend more money? why not do it in a tried and true fin dee dee to prevent 40 record entity which is nasa, why have you gone on this attack when you're putting so much more emphasis on the untested sources to assure the space station will be utilized to the full potential. >> senator, if i may say there is only one untested source and it's not untested in the two competitors right now in the program it is a space -- spacex.
they've flown pegasus and another number of spacecraft for many of years. we have flown, the of flown to orbit. they know what they are doing. orbital was the subprimal on the system we just had an incredible success added white sand so if i want to say why do i have confidence i have confidence in them because they demonstrated ability to put things in space when you talk about exploration and research on the space station i could not agree more. i am very confident and comfortable however with my partners, the russians, because they have the best record of safety and reliability in terms of access to space. they've now flown i think 90 missions without an accident or loss of life. there is no other person, there is no other source of access to the low earth orbit that can mix
the record. the next thing i will say is as good as in trivia i defy anyone who says that american industry is not as good or better than they are. i have to be confident orbital spacex, douglas not even around anymore, boeing, the other manufacturers can match if not exceed that of intermedia and i am just confident american industry is better than the russian industry and i happy with what the russians do. >> the one comment i want to do to that is remind folks that all of the rockets and all of the spacecraft we've been using from the beginning of the era have been built by the private sector. what we are talking to this changing the acquisition model. >> but here is the key. what i was going to say it is not that we won't rely on private contractors. of course we will but it will be
under the auspices and control of nasa and their tried and true 40 years of experience. not to defend than $6 billion, which is what is in the president's proposal and just saying you go to this without all of the other aspects, the training, testing, the mission control. there is so much more than just building the rocket or building the half of the zero ryan. it has to fit together in what my concern is you or terminating a constellation in the budget you've got to $.5 billion to terminate. that's the termination and there are reports all over the place you are terminating contracts or making it the central that they self terminate.